Page 1


â„¢ October 2016


Annual Newark Issue NEWARK CELEBRATES 350 YEARS First International Film Festival


Walking Trails


Mayor Ras J.

Newark Beth Israel

and much more

Rev. Dr. Cornell


21st Century Leadership for the NAACP

Fall’s best evenings are right around the corner! Get On Up: A James Brown Celebration!* Christian McBride, Sharon Jones, Bettye LaVette, Lee Fields and James Brown Band alumni Pee Wee Ellis, Danny “Capeman” Ray, Robert “Mousey” Thompson, Fred Wesley, Ryan Shaw and Terrace Martin Friday, November 18 at 8pm

Jazz in the Key of Ellison*

Festival of Praise

Wynton Marsalis, Talib Kweli, Angelique Kidjo & Patti Austin with big band led by Andy Farber and readings by Joe Morton Presented by Audible. Tuesday, November 1 at 7:30pm

Thursday, November 10 at 7:30pm A soul-stirring gospel extravaganza with GRAMMY winner Fred Hammond, Hezekiah Walker and more! Hosted by the comedian Earthquake.

Keyshia Cole, Tank, Jagged Edge & Monifah

FELA! * The Concert: Afrobeat Party

Friday, November 11 at 8pm The ultimate Flashback Friday! Hear “Let It Go,” “Promise,” “Please Don’t Go” by these GRAMMY®-nominated R&B hitmakers.

Wednesday, November 16 at 7:30pm A 10-piece Afrobeat band and cast from the original Tonywinning Broadway show!

A unique evening celebrating the jazz music beloved by Invisible Man author Ralph Ellison.

An Evening with Neil deGrasse Tyson Thursday, December 15 at 8pm The famed astrophysicist of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey unravels the mysteries of modern science for Earthlings!

Festival of Soul Russell Thompkins, Jr. & The New Stylistics, The Dramatics featuring LJ Reynolds, The Jones Girls featuring Shirley Jones, Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes, and Ted Mills – the voice of Blue Magic. Friday, November 25 at 8pm Only NJ appearance of this ‘70s soul band extravaganza!

Kwanzaa Celebration Forces of Nature Dance Company with special guests Les Nubians Saturday, December 17 at 2pm & 8pm Celebrate Kwanzaa with this daring theatrical dance company, this year featuring the Afro-French jazz duo Les Nubians.

Hip Hop Nutcracker featuring Kurtis Blow Saturday, December 17 at 3pm NJPAC’s very own holiday smash is back! Rap legend Kurtis Blow rejoins the cast for this mash-up for the entire family.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Dance Theatre of Harlem Saturday, January 14 at 8pm Experience the passion, power and perfection of Dance Theatre of Harlem, returning for NJPAC’s annual tribute to MLK.

A Night of Symphonic Hip Hop featuring Nelly Friday, January 27 at 8pm The chart-topping rapper, singer and songwriter and his band perform greatest hits, backed by a symphony orchestra.

* Part of the TD James Moody Jazz Festival



“GIVING BACK IS WHAT WE DO!” PANASONIC IS PROUD TO CALL NEWARK HOME Since our arrival, Newark has welcomed Panasonic with open arms and we have collaborated with amazing community groups that enrich the lives of so many people throughout this city! As we look for more ways to deepen our involvement, we’re excited to be a part of the city’s revitalization. Together, we can all make a difference in helping Newark succeed now and into the future.



SECTIONS HEALTH............................16 MONEY ...................................27 CULTURE .................................55

Features Baraka’s Nehemiah Vision for Newark...............9 Expanded Oncology in Newark.........................16 This Survivor’s on Fire!..................................24 It’s Time for Financial Security.......................27


Newark EDC Drives Devlopment.......................32 AACCNJ Annual Conference ..............................36 Photo Courtesy of NAACP



also inside

NJ Institute for Social Justice.........................38 NAACP NYS Conference..............................42 NAACP


CLSJ 30th Anniversary Celebration...............46 Phil Murphy Meets and Greets.......................51 Happy Birthday, Rev. Al sharpton!.................52 Let’s Party!.....................................................53

Guest Editorial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Walk Through Newark’s History...................55 My View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Screening the Newark Film Festival................59 Fitness Doctor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Pastor Manning-Fontaine Retires...................67 Wealth Building . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Abundant Life’s 25th Anniversary....................69 Gospel Train . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 HCCI Rocks the Boat!....................................70 The Way Ahead . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 Granville Academy’s First Grads!......................74 The Last Word . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 Greater Harlem Chamber Gala.........................76 4 The Positive Community October 2016


The time between when people should start saving for retirement and when they actually do is known as the “Action Gap.” And it has a bigger effect than you might think. To better understand the impact, we performed a simple experiment. We asked a group of young people to use paint rollers to show us what age they think they should start saving. Then we asked a group of older people to indicate what age they actually did start. What we found was that there was often a years-long Action Gap between the two. But closing it up by even just a few years makes a huge difference in how much people can save over the long run. Which makes right now the perfect time to get better prepared for your retirement.








October 2016 The Positive Community









he clergy organizations, churches, community businesses and institutions listed below have committed to the purchase of at least 50 magazines per month at $1.00 each (one-third of the cover price) or support this publication through the purchase of advertising. Find out more by calling 973-233-9200 or email Convent Avenue Baptist Church, New York, NY Rev. Dr. Jesse T. Willams, Pastor

Mount Calvary United Methodist Church, New York, NY Rev. Francis Kairson, Pastor

Emmanuel Baptist Church, Brooklyn NY Rev. Anthony Trufant, Pastor

Mt. Neboh Baptist Church, Harlem, NY Rev. Dr. Johnnie Green Jr., Pastor

Empire Missionary B.C., Convention NY Rev. Dr. Ronald Grant, President

Mt. Pisgah B.C., Brooklyn, NY Rev. Dr. Johnny Ray Youngblood, Pastor

Aenon Baptist Church, Vauxhall NJ Rev Alphonso Williams, Sr Pastor

Fellowship Missionary B.C., Newark, NJ Rev. Dr. Elton T. Byrd Pastor/Founder

Agape Christian Ministries Worship Ctr. Rev. Craig R. Jackson. Pastor

First B.C. of Lincoln Gardens, Somerset NJ Rev. Dr. DeForest (Buster) Soaries, Pastor

Mount Olive Baptist Church, Hackensack, NJ Rev. Gregory J. Jackson, Pastor

Antioch Baptist Church., Brooklyn, NY Rev. Robert M. Waterman, Pastor

First Baptist Church, East Elmhurst, NY Rev Patrick Henry Young, Pastor

Archdiocese of New York Brother Tyrone Davis, Office of Black Ministry

First Baptist B.C. of Teaneck, NJ Rev. Marilyn Monroe Harris, Pastor

Berean B.C., Brooklyn, NY Rev. Arlee Griffin Jr., Pastor

First Corinthian Baptist Church, NY Rev. Michael A. Walrond, Jr. Senior Pastor

Bethany B.C., Brooklyn, NY Rev. Dr. Adolphus C. Lacey, Sr. Pastor

First Park Baptist Church, Plainfield, NJ Rev. Rufus McClendon, Jr., Pastor

Bethany B.C., Newark, NJ Rev. Dr. M. William Howard, Pastor

General Baptist Convention, NJ Rev. Dr. Guy Campbell, Jr., Presiden

Beulah Bible Cathedral Church, Newark, NJ Gerald Lydell Dickson, Senior Pastor

Good Neighbor Baptist Church Rev. Dr. George A. Blackwell, III, Pastor

Calvary Baptist Church, Garfield, NJ Rev. Calvin McKinney, Pastor

Grace B. C., Mt. Vernon, NY Rev. Dr. Franklyn W. Richardson, Pastor

Calvary Baptist Church, Morristown, NJ Rev. Jerry M. Carter, Jr., Pastor

Greater Abyssinian BC, Newark, NJ Rev. Allen Potts, Senior Pastor

Canaan B. C. of Christ, Harlem, NY Rev. Thomas D. Johnson, Pastor

Greater Zion Hill B.C., Harlem, NY Rev. Dr. Frank J. Blackshear, Pastor

Canaan B.C., Paterson, NJ Rev. Barry L. Graham, Pastor

Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement (HCCI) Drek E. Broomes, President & CEO

Abyssinian B.C., Harlem, NY Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III, Pastor Abyssinian B.C., Newark, NJ Rev. Dr. Perry Simmons, Pastor Abundant Life Fellowship COGIC, Newark, NJ Supt. Edward Bohannon, Jr, Pastor

Cathedral International., Perth Amboy, NJ Bishop Donald Hilliard, Pastor

Imani Baptist Church, East Orange, NJ Rev.Chuch Chamberlayne, Pastor

Mount Zion Baptist Church, Westwood, NJ Rev. Barry R. Miller, Pastor Mt. Olivet B.C, Newark, NJ Rev. André W. Milteer, Pastor Mt. Zion AME Church, Trenton, NJ Rev. J. Stanley Justice, Pastor New Hope Baptist Church, Metuchen, NJ Rev. Dr. Ronald L. Owens, Pastor New Hope Baptist Church of Hackensack, Hackensack, NJ Rev. Dr. Frances Mannin-Fontaine, Pastor New Jerusalem Worship Center, Jamaica, NY Rev. Dr. Calvin Rice, Senior Pastor New Life Cathedral, Mt. Holly, NJ Rev. Eric Wallace, Pastor New Zion B.C., Elizabeth, NJ Rev. Kevin James White, Pastor Paradise B. C., Newark, NJ Rev. Jethro James, Pastor Park Ave Christian Disciples of Christ, East Orange, NJ Rev. Harriet Wallace, Pastor Pilgrim B. C., Newark, NJ Rev. Dr. Glenn Wilson, Pastor Ruth Fellowship Ministries, Plainfield, NJ Rev. Tracey Brown, Pastor

Charity Baptist Church, Bronx, NY Rev. Reginald Williams, Pastor

It Is Well Living Ministries, Clark, NJ Rev. Kahlil Carmichael, Pastor

Christian Cultural Center, Brooklyn, NY Rev. A.R. Barnard, Pastor

Macedonia Baptist Church, Lakewood, NJ Dr. Edward D. Harper, Pastor

Shiloh AME Zion Church, Englewood, NJ Rev. John D. Givens, Pastor

Christian Love B.C., Irvington, NJ Rev. Dr. Ronald Christian, Pastor

Mariners’ Temple B.C., New York, NY Rev. Dr. Henrietta Carter, Pastor

Shiloh B.C., Plainfield, NJ Rev. Sheila Thorpe, Pastor

Messiah Baptist Church, Bridgeport, CT Rev. James Logan, Pastor

Shiloh B.C., Trenton, NJ Rev. Darell Armstrong, Pastor

Messiah Baptist Church, East Orange, NJ Rev. Dana Owens, Pastor

St. Albans, NY COGIC Rev. Dr. Ben Monroe, Pastor

Clear View Baptist Church, Newark, NJ Rev. Eric M. Beckham, M.Div., MFT Community B.C., Englewood, NJ Rev. Dr. Lester Taylor, Pastor Community Church of God, Plainfield, NJ Rev. Dr. Shirley B. Cathie., Pastor Emeritus Concord B.C., Brooklyn, NY Rev. Dr. Gary V. Simpson, Pastor

Metropolitan B.C., Newark, NJ Rev. Dr. David Jefferson, Pastor

St. Anthony Baptist Church, Brooklyn, NY Rev. Dr. Duane E. Cooper, Pastor St. John Baptist Church, Camden, NJ Rev. Dr. Silas M. Townsend, Pastor

St. Luke Baptist Church of Harlem, NY Rev. Dr. Johnnie McCann, Pastor St Luke B.C., Paterson, NJ Rev. Kenneth D.R. Clayton, Pastor St. James AME Church, Newark, NJ Rev. Ronald L. Slaughter, Pastor St. Paul Baptist, Red Bank, NJ Rev. Alexander Brown, Pastor St. Mark Missionary B.C., Jamaica, NY Rev. Owen E. Williams, Pastor St. Matthew AME Church, Orange, NJ Rev. Dr. Lanel D. Guyton, Pastor St. Paul's B.C., Montclair, NJ Rev. Dr. Bernadette Glover, Pastor St. Paul Community B.C., Brooklyn, NY Rev. David K. Brawley, Pastor The New Hope B.C., Newark, NJ Rev. Joe Carter, Senior Pastor Union Baptist Temple,, Bridgeton, NJ Rev. Albert L. Morgan, Pastor Walker Memorial B.C. Bronx, NY Rev. Dr. J. Albert Bush Sr., Pastor World Gospel Music Assoc., Newark, NJ Dr. Albert Lewis, Founder

Businesses & Organizations 125th St. BID City National Bank Essex County College, NJ Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce Marion P. Thomas Charter School Mildred Crump, Newark City Council Muslim American Chamber of Commerce NAACP New Jersey* NAACP, NY State Conference* New Brunswick Theological Seminary New Jersey Performing Arts Center New York Theological Seminary NobleNNJ Nubian Conservatory of Music Razac Products Co., Newark, NJ Schomburg Center for Research The College of New Rochelle United Way of Essex and West Hudson WBGO-88.3FM West Harlem Group Assistance, Inc.

“The Positive Community magazine does outstanding work in promoting the good works of the Black Church. All churches and businesses should subscribe to and advertise in The Positive Community. Please support this magazine, the only one October 2016 The Positive Community 7 that features good news about the black community.”—Rev. Buster Soaries, General Baptist Revival, May 20, 2010



A Nehemiah Vision for Newark

visited Los Angeles recently to attend the Greenbuild 2016 Conference, the world’s largest conference and expo bringing together more than 19,000 sustainable building industry leaders, experts and frontline professionals. I participated on a panel of environmental thought leaders because the US Green Building Council announced that Newark will be the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for cities in the world. Essentially, our city will become a living laboratory for sustainability, human health, economic prosperity, and quality of life. This recognition is in line with the vision that I have set forth for Newark—a convergence of positive ideas and beliefs that will invite and retain residents, businesses, talent, and investment. When I first laid out this vision for the City, we dubbed it Newark 2.0, enhancing it the following year to Newark 3.0. Observers tossed about terms such as renaissance, urban revitalization and destination city, while detractors— who often demonstrate a predominating lack of creativity—simply mischaracterized it as gentrification. However, to place the vision that I spend countless days and nights considering and refining into its historic perspective, you would have to go back to fifth century B.C., to a time when a high official named Nehemiah went back to Jerusalem to rebuild the city and its fortifications. It has been said that after taking a night-long journey to survey the damage to the city, Nehemiah enlisted the people that remained there to repair the breaches in the wall. Then, according to biblical historians, Nehemiah had them set up an army to defend against the threat of those who opposed them. According to scripture, Nehemiah gave up the payments to which he had been entitled in order to reduce the heavy tax burden on his constituents. He also compelled city officials to forgive all outstanding debts and ordered them to return all land and money that had been taken as taxes so the people would be able to feed their families. This is the audacious and innovative leadership model that chiefs, monarchs, rulers, and presidents have followed when working to rebuild businesses, cities, and nations. I believe that the teachings of the Bible, the Quran, and even the Bhagavad Gita are not offered simply as chronicles of history but as moral, ethical and leadership blueprints for our everyday lives. I summon these references often as I work to address the needs of the nearly 300,000 citizens who call Newark, New Jersey home. Indeed, Nehemiah’s leadership model is instructional when considering municipal matters such as job creation, neighborhood revitalization and business development, and public safety. Several months ago, President Obama selected me to participate in the White House conversation on how to increase trust between police and urban communities. At a time when the media focuses on incidents of police/civilian violence, Newark has been recognized as a national leader for its police/community partnerships. Initiatives such as Community COMSTAT Meetings, a Public Safety Academy, and the Newark Street Academy are part of continued on next page


The Positive Community October 2016


continued from previous page

our innovative approaches to build trust between the police and community, prevent violence, and make law enforcement more effective. Many of the new strategies are based on recommendations made by residents themselves at community Town Halls, Occupy the Block events, and meetings sponsored by the reorganized Department of Public Safety. Additionally, more officers on the Newark Police Department reflect their community on the streets. Since March of this year, I have sworn in 138 recruits and seven officers to the Newark Police Division, which includes 30 African-American men, 24 African-American women, 23 Caucasian men, two Caucasian women, 41 Latino men and 15 Latina women. They are the faces of our city. Similarly, like Nehemiah, we are working to find ways to redirect resources back into the community. Taking advantage of the historically low-interest rates, the City is saving money for taxpayers by refinancing certain outstanding debt obligations. In July, the City saved $11.8 Million on outstanding bonds, originally issued in 2009, to fund the new Public Safety Headquarters. As of June 2016, the Finance Department successfully collected more than $240 million in tax payments and revenues. Additionally, the City’s Purchasing Department is making a concerted effort to keep our money in the community by increasing our use of Newark businesses to buy goods and services.

Another way we are working to keep our resources in the community is to help residents start their own businesses to serve their neighbors. Newark is on track to open five retail incubators, one in each ward, by the end of 2016. The Community Storefront Program (CSP) provides shared storefront retail space for up to 10 entrepreneurs in each store who graduate from an intensive entrepreneurial training program. By minimizing the barriers to operating a retail business, entrepreneurs are provided subsidized space, coaching, mentoring, and business support services. The initiative enables Newark entrepreneurs, who have a retail business idea, to experience the full business cycle, from concept to market. This program gives participants the practical training and experience necessary to market their self-produced products. Some of the new businesses that have opened with help from the entrepreneurial training program are a juice bar, clothing and furniture store, a video production program, a martial arts school, several restaurants, an athletic wear store, and a home cleaning business. Nehemiah repaired and rebuilt Jerusalem’s walls and gates in just 52 days. Some would have thought that what we’ve achieved so far --- during my first two years --- would have been impossible. But through faith, hard work, and a shared commitment to a vision for growth, we—the citizens of Newark—have accomplished these things together. This is just the beginning. I invite you to come and see what we are doing here.

energy [

] www

Proud to be e lighting the Newark skyline s for 113 years and a ready to serve the city and its people for the e next century. U Congratu ulations to Newark as a we come together to celebrate the Brick k City’s 350th an nniversary.

October 2016 The Positive Community 9


Junius Williams is director of the Abbott Leadership Institute at Rutgers University–Newark.

Newark Celebration 350—Reflections


s chair of Newark Celebration 350, I have been enormously gratified to see our city’s 350th anniversary commemorated in so many ways. We have celebrated in song and verse, in music and art, and elevated the spirit of our city to unimaginable, new heights. Through NC 350, our city has come alive by countless citizens, corporations, and community groups coming together at over 150 events, concerts, festivals, and conferences we’ve programmed throughout the year. As the year ends, it’s time now to reflect upon the goodwill and connections we’ve built through these last few months. We started with a concept that went beyond parades and marching bands. Our hope was to create a yearlong platform for people from different neighborhoods and cultures to tell their stories. Last year, the NC 350 team and I went into the five wards and met with community members and potential partners to hear their ideas for events and programs. We asked, “How can we commemorate 350 years of this historic city in a way that reflects its rich history, and project a vision of what Newark might become?” We did it by putting the celebration into the people’s hands, giving voice to groups and communities that would normally go unheard. In so doing, we avoided the old top-down-downtown-only perspective, and got the people to buy into what we wanted to achieve. Their stories have been captured on video, images and words whether as a news story on radio or TV, shared on social media and our website so that not only our neighbors, but the rest of the world could experience our celebration of we already knew and loved about Newark, but new discoveries as well. In the excitement, many of our city’s most prestigious corporations and institutions joined hands with Newark residents and lent their generous support towards the funding and marketing of these exceptional programs that highlighted Newark’s history, achievements, diversity, and culture. The celebration brought us great performances by Newark’s best local and international artists—from the headliners at our signature event, Founders Weekend Festival with Newark’s own Faith Evans, Angela Johnson and our future stars, Them Cloud Kids; to the founding of our city’s newest jazz spot, NC 350 Live at Clement’s Place.

10 The Positive Community

October 2016

We celebrated groundbreaking innovations that put our city’s history and heritage at our fingertips from “Newark Walks,” the city’s first app and structured pedestrian walking tour, to “Knowing Newark,” a website and book featuring selected essays of Newark historian Charles E. Cummings. We listened and learned from Newark’s leaders in history, social justice, and education at countless discussions, held at our great institutions like Newark Public Library, Rutgers University Newark, NJPAC, and the Newark Museum. From a two-day conference at Rutgers Newark on the Newark 1967 Rebellion as a defining moment in the change of the power dynamic in the city; to a conference on police reform with Mayor Ras Baraka, we debated and discussed our past and present while seeking paths towards our future. We gazed at pride-instilling exhibitions such as Newark’s first scale model of our entire city by People Power Planning, to the Newark history Animodules™. We captured hundreds of our citizens’ stories in WBGO radio’s Newark Stories series, Gallery Aferro’s citywide mobile studio portraits and Hycide’s online series of street photography. We celebrated our city’s heroes and sheroes such as fifth generation funeral director, Edith Churchman; the divine one, Sarah Vaughan; and civil rights leader/poet Amiri Baraka. We listened to Newark’s first website dedicated to our great tradition of poetry at and spearheaded a Newark Public Schools history curriculum. We raised funds for legacy gifts for the planting of 350 trees, the establishment of a college success fund, and the restoration of Gutzon Borglum’s 1916 landing monument. And from the Ironbound to Weequahic to Lincoln Park to the Old Third Ward, we celebrated our cultures through music, art, and community festivals. None of this would have been possible without the coming together of community organizations, institutions, individuals, business partners, and our NC 350 board members and staff. Special thanks to Mayor Ras Baraka and his team, who stood with us in making NC 350 an important part of their work and vision. 2016 was a cause for celebration not just this year, but for all time. It created a spirit of unity and collaboration that has propelled Newark on a trajectory for future greatness as well, dependent totally on the hearts and minds of the people who will keep telling our stories.

THE NEWARK MUNICIPAL COUNCIL Takes Great Pride and Pleasure In Celebration Of THE 350TH ANNIVERSARY OF

The Great City Of Newark, NJ

Mildred C. Crump

President and Council Member-At- Large

Augusto Amador

Council Member East Ward

Joseph A. McCallum, Jr.

Council Member West Ward

Carlos M. Gonzalez

Council Member-At- Large

Eddie Osborne

Council Member-At- Large

John Sharpe James

Council Member South Ward

Luis A. Quintana

Council Member-At- Large

Gayle Chaneyfield Jenkins Council Member Central Ward

Anibal Ramos, Jr.

Council Member North Ward


Rev. Nance is pastor of The Church by the Side of the Road in Passaic, NJ. She is also a radio talk show host and documentary filmmaker.


It’s Your Right and Your Duty


ho'd have thunk it?” If I may borrow a popular line used by characters in the classic movie, The Group. The movie was about a group of Vassar girls. Fabulous. Today, however, I'm focusing on real-life issues that affect our lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren as we observe the fast-approaching events regarding the upcoming presidential election and the down ballot Capitol Hill elections. The Vassar girls were comprised of well-heeled women with WASP pedigrees trying to wrestle with the issues of life that confront everybody regardless of one's social status. And, so it is with the impending elections. The electorate is asked to choose between a man who claims to be a billionaire and a woman who is quite familiar with the rough and tumble of politics. I'm referring to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, respectively. Trump, like the characters from Vassar, comes from a family of means, attended the best schools and apparently has had little experience with people of color. Clinton, on the other hand, hails from an upper middle class family and appears to be a bit more comfortable engaging with black folks. The AfricanAmerican community may very well play a pivotal role in the presidential election. I’ve heard it said, “I don't know if that's true, but that's what it feels like.” Blacks, in my judgment, have to step up their game and begin demanding more from those who would seek their vote. Contrary to popular belief among some, having a politician of any stripe whisk through your churches on any given Sunday morning is not a big deal. Their appearance neither feeds the hungry nor clothes the naked, if you please. Many simply show up with the unspoken assumption that black votes come cheap. They don't. And, they shouldn't. This writer is not arrogant enough to suggest that our readers should vote for one person over another. The readership is extremely intelligent and can judge for themselves who best fits their needs and political persua-

sion. But I will say, whoever is fortunate enough to get your vote(s), should do so with the understanding that he or she is expected to take care of the people's business in general, and black folks' business in particular. Other ethnic groups don't apologize for submitting a todo list, as one might call it, to the people who are elected to represent them. Yes, blacks love the Lord, and they know they've been told often that we should put things in the hands of the Lord but this time your hands are needed—needed to pull the lever for someone who will carry the ball, so to speak, for you and yours; to address the pressing problems that plague blighted communities and war-torn urban centers; to enact fair and equitable laws that prohibit gerrymandering in poor neighborhoods plagued by abject poverty. Who'd have thunk it? Yes, it's that time of year again. Do the right thing and head to your nearest polling station and make the great Fannie Lou Hamer and other civil rights martyrs proud. Lest we forget that only half a century ago, civil rights were hard won after a long and arduous fight, and the right to vote was paid with the blood of martyrs. Always remember, there’s power in the blood. Let’s honor those whose blood was spilled in the streets of America so that we might take part in the promise of the American democratic system. Make your voice heard from the local level all the way to the White House. Vote. Peter Souza/

12 The Positive Community

October 2016

T:7” S:7”


Health Plans. For Now, For Life.

Find your plan at October 2016 The Positive Community



Whether you’re putting on training wheels or planning a retirement trip, EmblemHealth offers a choice of quality, affordable health insurance plans for you and your family. With dental and vision benefits and a large network of primary care physicians and specialists, we’ll help keep you covered along the way.















Having trouble paying your mortgage? New Jersey’s Hardest Hit Fund offers up to $50,000 in assistance to save your home


s thousands of New Jersey families continue to face difficult economic challenges, many are in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure. The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) wants to help you to make sure that you are not one of them.

Whether you are current with your mortgage payments or already late, the time is now to find out if you are eligible for financial assistance offered by NJHHF program. Qualifying homeowners must own only one residential home (one, two, or three-units) and currently reside in that home.

If you’re a New Jersey homeowner struggling to make your mortgage payment because of an involuntary loss of employment income or a reduction in household income due to underemployment or other demonstrated financial hardships including medical, divorce, disability or death, you could qualify for up to $50,000 through New Jersey’s Hardest Hit Fund (NJHHF) program, designated specifically for homeowners at risk of foreclosure. NJHHF is funded through a federal grant from the United States Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund (HHF). The Trenton-based NJHMFA is the official administrator of the program for the State of New Jersey.

“The New Jersey HomeKeeper Program is here to assist homeowners who are struggling to make their mortgage payments because they have seen their incomes reduced,” said NJHMFA Executive Director Anthony L. Marchetta. “We understand that New Jersey families still continue to face difficult economic realities, and we want to help them keep their homes as they look for work.”

New Jersey’s Hardest Hit Fund program currently consists of the NJ HomeSaver and NJ HomeKeeper programs. The New Jersey HomeSaver Program offers eligible homeowners up to $50,000 in financial assistance to help bring their household monthly payment to an affordable level by using HHF funds to facilitate a refinance, recast, or permanent modification of the first mortgage loan. The New Jersey HomeKeeper Program offers eligible homeowners up to $48,000 in financial assistance to cover arrearages and/or the homeowner’s monthly mortgage payment (including principal, interest, taxes and insurance) for up to 12 months. 14 The Positive Community October 2016

Help us to help you! Apply now at foreclosure. Complete the brief, online application and you’ll be assigned a housing counselor, free of charge, who will advise you on the program that best fits your needs. Don’t worry -- these are certified experts working with the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, so it’s all legit. And it’s all free. FRAUD ALERT PLEASE NOTE: Homeowners will NEVER be asked to pay a fee for any New Jersey Hardest Hit Fund Program. If you are asked to pay a fee, or suspect fraud or misrepresentation related to a NJ Hardest Hit Fund program or representative, please contact our office at 1-855-647-7700 or 609-2787660, or email Take advantage of the help that’s meant for you. Get the facts so you can stop worrying. Because it’s more than just a house. It’s your home!


NEW JERSEY’S HARDEST HIT FUND New Jersey’s Hardest Hit Fund (NJHHF) program is funded through a federal grant from the United States Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund. The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) is the official administrator of the program for the State of New Jersey. New Jersey’s Hardest Hit Fund program consists of the NJ HomeSaver and NJ HomeKeeper programs. NJ

HOMESAVER Administered by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency

New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency

HOW TO APPLY To apply for NJ Hardest Hit Fund assistance you will need to use our web-based application system from a computer, tablet, cell phone or other web enabled device. Visit and click on the “Apply Now” button to begin your application. Before you begin, please have your mortgage loan information and financial information available. If you are attempting to reapply, please contact 1-855-647-7700 or 609-278-7660 for assistance.


Health P R E V E N T I O N , T R E AT M E N T & C U R E

Oncology Services Expanded in Newark

University Hospital and Rutgers Cancer Institute Join Forces Enhancing the access to care for cancer patients in the Essex County area is a major achievement. Bringing these services to Newark through this partnership with University Hospital reflects an understanding of the need for the types of care the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey can provide as one of the leading cancer centers in the country.


new partnership between Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and University Hospital in Newark is resulting in the expansion of National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center services to the greater Essex region. The multidisciplinary service line at the cancer center at the Newark hospital now includes care provided by Rutgers Cancer Institute medical oncologists, which augments radiation oncology services provided by Rutgers Cancer Institute for the past seven years and surgical oncology services provided by Rutgers faculty members. An infrastructure to bring additional cancer clinical trials to patients in the region is also part of the new partnership, as is the expansion of community outreach, education and screening programs. The new entity, known as Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey at University Hospital, was celebrated at the Newark facility with government officials and medical professionals on hand including NJ Governor Chris Christie; University Hospital President and CEO John N. Kastanis, MBA, FACHE; Rutgers University President Robert Barchi, MD, PhD; and Rutgers Bio16 The Positive Community October 2016

L-R: Breast Cancer Survivor Felicia Macklin and The Honorable Sheila Olivera. Felicia Macklin is a patient at UH. She spoke about the importance of having more cancer services in Essex County and the need for women to get regular breast exams and mammograms.

medical and Health Sciences Chancellor Brian Strom, MD, MPH. Enhancing the access to care for cancer patients in the Essex County area is a major achievement. Bringing these services to Newark through this partnership with University Hospital reflects an understanding of the need for the types of care the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey can provide as one of the leading cancer centers in the country,” notes Dr. Strom. “The changing healthcare environment requires that a more progressive approach be taken to provide access to the most advanced treatment options for the greater Newark community and all of northern New Jersey. We are pleased that this partnership will address this significant need,” added Kastanis. “As the state’s only NCI-Comprehensive Cancer Center, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey has a mission to provide patients with advanced care,

Someone You LYVE Deserves...

L-R: Rutgers University President Robert Barchi, MD; University Hospital President and CEO, John N. Kastanis, MBA, FACHE; and Governor Chris Christie

ing clinical trials, some of which are only available at NCI-designated centers. This new partnership with University Hospital will expand access to these novel cancer therapies bringing the latest treatments to all populations in the greater Newark area,” noted Susan Goodin, PharmD, the newly named interim director of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey at University Hospital and professor of medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. “Along with clinical trials that study innovative new therapies and diagnostic methods that are not widely available, care options will include precision medicine approaches that are based on targeting genetic characteristics of cancer and utilizing drug compounds that ‘block’ cancer-inducing pathways, “ explained Dr. Goodin. “As an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey has the expertise to offer the latest treatment options and clinical trials as well as opportunities to reduce cancer incidence and improve patient outcomes,” noted Bruce Haffty, MD, interim director of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and professor and chair of radiation oncology at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and New Jersey Medical School Residents in the greater Newark area have a unique need for the most rigorous education, research and best care available, and this new partnership between Rutgers Cancer Institute and University Hospital will result in additional care options.” Additionally, the new partnership will result in increased screening, treatment, and education with a special focus on underserved populations. The aim is to work with community partners in the greater Newark area to identify cancer-related needs and develop community-based participatory education, training, and research among racial/ethnic minorities and underserved populations. These activities will form the basis for future cancer-focused outreach initiatives, which will include creating culturally-sensitive educational materials and improving cancer literacy and communication between patients and healthcare providers.

Superior Rehabilitative Care Oradell Health Care Center We understand that choosing a rehabilitative care center can be difficult. Oradell Health Care Center has the experience and know-how to help patients and their families receive the right care and information, and to ensure that patients return home stronger. Our physical, occupational and speech therapists help patients regain strength and independence. To that end, Oradell’s staff provides 48% more therapy per patient day than the statewide average, and 53% more than the national average.* Call today. You will have peace of mind knowing that your loved one’s care is in our hands. Someone You Love Deserves Oradell Health Care Center

600 Kinderkamack Rd, Oradell, NJ 07649 201.967.0002 Take a virtual tour at *The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Nursing Home Compare ratings

October 2016 The Positive Community


Transforming Health Care Sinc

RWJBarnabas Health’s three Essex County hospitals are a significant part of the rich 350-year history of the City its residents since our organizations’ forefathers founded institutions in the 1800s. As health care evolves, our h continue to adapt to meeting the changing needs of the communities we serve. We are dedicated to serve as residents of Newark to turn for social, human and health services and we are committed to delivering the highe competent clinical care and superior experience. It’s what Newark, Essex County and New Jersey deserve. That promise today, tomorrow and always.

Saint Barnabas Medical Center est. 1865

Clara Maass Medical C

Saint Barnabas Medical Center is celebrating its founding 150 years ago in Newark. In 1865, a group of women from the Episcopal Grace Church and Christ Church of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, known as the Ladies Society of Saint Barnabas House, began caring for a patient named Eliza Titus. The grateful Eliza Titus bequeathed the Society her small estate on Newark’s McWhorter Street, which became the site of the Society’s first hospital. The facility was the direct ancestor of today’s 597-bed Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, New Jersey, which continues to serve residents throughout Essex County and New Jersey, with renowned services such as the state’s only Burn Center.

Founded in 1868 as the Newark Germa Center’s rich tradition in health care is e the first hospital in the United States to corporate identity. In 1918, Newark Ge Newark Memorial Hospital. It later bec In 1952, the name was changed to Clar is today known as Clara Maass Medical the border of Newark and overlooking has also been fondly referred to as the Clara Maass Medical Center continues and beyond, with an unparalleled level recognitions from numerous quality rat

ce 1865

y of Newark, having served hospitals and programs an innovative resource for est quality, culturally t is RWJBarnabas Health’s

Center est. 1868

an Hospital, Clara Maass Medical embodied even in its name, as o bear the name of a nurse as its erman Hospital was renamed came Lutheran Memorial Hospital. ra Maass Memorial Hospital, and l Center. Located in Belleville on Branch Brook Park, Clara Maass “Hospital in the Park.” Today, to serve Newark, Essex County l of quality, achieving national ting organizations.

Newark Beth Israel Medical Center est. 1901 Established as a 21-bed hospital, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center was founded by the Daughters of Israel in 1901. In 1903, The Beth opened its Pediatric Unit, which was among the first in the nation. Five years later, The Beth celebrated its new 84-bed brick hospital. Nine years after its founding, its clinicians contributed to lowering the mortality rate in Newark to the lowest in decades. Since its founding in 1901, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center has maintained a fine reputation for excellence in patient care, medical education and research. With an impressive series of “firsts,” dating back to the turn of last century, Newark Beth continues to be revolutionary with its nationally recognized heart transplant program as well as its award-winning KidsFit and Beth Challenge programs to promote better health.












Hire Newark Employment Ready Boot Camp


he control room is one of the most challenging security posts at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey, but at 29 years-old and with only seven months on the job, Security Officer Nasir Muhammad has already mastered it. He monitors more than 160 cameras throughout the 665-bed major teaching hospital; manages and activates multiple alarm systems; answers several phone lines and is responsible for dispatching officers when their assistance is needed. A year ago, Nasir was unemployed and struggling to provide for his wife and four children, today he has transformed his life. Now he is one of 16 gainfully employed graduates of the first “Hire Newark Employment Ready Bootcamp” class coordinated by RWJBarnabas Health and Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey, an RWJBarnabas Health facility. “The Hire Newark program creates economic advancement for Newark residents and a trained and prepared workforce for local businesses. It is just one of the ways that Newark Beth Israel is making an impact on the social determinants of health in our community,” said Darrell K. Terry Sr.,

MHA, MPH FACHE President and Chief Executive Officer, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. Every participant in that inaugural class received multiple job offers from Hire Newark employer partners when they graduated and many are considered “superstars” by their managers. Nasir is one of those stars. “We are very happy and fortunate to have Officer Muhammad on our team. He is very reliable and never refuses to take on extra work,” said Captain Zachary Stokes, Nasir’s supervisor and second-in-command of the Newark Beth Israel security department. “He is always volunteering to work extra shifts and to help his fellow officers.” Nasir applied for countless positions before receiving the call to participate in Hire Newark. As a longtime resident of Newark’s South Ward Nasir dreamed of working at his local hospital but could not seem to land an interview there. Then the hospital’s Human Resources department offered him the opportunity to participate in the Hire Newark program. The five-week intensive job readiness course was designed to connect Newark employers with Newark residents just like Nasir, people who are qualified for entry level employment but need to develop the social skills required to excel in today’s job market. Nasir joined 15 other Newark residents who

were looking for work and trying to understand why no doors were opening for them. They underwent intensive training on a number of social and presentation skills, management and employability skills as well as one-on-one job readiness coaching. It was a life changing experience for Nasir who says the program taught him more than just how to land a job it taught him life skills. “I learned how to manage my time and not to be afraid to learn new things,” said Nasir. “In order to move forward I had to let go of my ego and unlearn many of the things that I thought were helping me but were actually hurting me.” “I learned how to present myself to a company as an asset; to not just apply for a position but show how I could really be helpful,” said Nasir. When he was finally interviewed for the security position at Newark Beth Israel, Captain Stokes described his presentation as impressive. The program had paid off. Nasir is also a peer coach and mentor for the current Hire Newark class which will graduate this November. This program is part of Mayor Ras J. Baraka’s Centers of Hope Initiative. Employers interested in participating should reach out to Atiya Jaha-Rashidi, Director of Special Projects at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey at atiya.

Newark Beth Israel Men’s Health and Wellness Night


pproximately 127 men participated in this year’s Newark Beth Israel Ray Murphy Men’s Health and Wellness Night/ Monday Night Football event. This year, Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. shared his personal struggles with diabetes and joined a discussion on men’s health moderated by George Martin, former NY Giants Captain and Super Bowl XXI Champion. The panel included physicians from a variety of specialties at Newark Beth Israel: Primary Care, Urology, Emergency Medicine, Behavioral Health, and Nutrition. Participants received free health screenings, lung assessments, Body Mass Index (BMI) measures, and later that evening enjoyed a night of food, fun and football! Unfortunately the Vikings beat the NY Giants 24 to 10. 20

The Positive Community

October 2016

L-R: Darrell K. Terry Sr., MHA, MPH, FACHE, president and chief executive officer, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey; Newark New Jersey City Councilman John Sharpe James; and U.S. Congressman Donald M. Payne Jr., serving New Jersey’s 10th District

Got these cards?

GET MORE. Get more benefits than you’re currently getting from Original Medicare with a UnitedHealthcare Dual Complete ONE plan. It combines your doctor, hospital and prescription drug coverage into one plan — for a $0 plan premium.

Additional benefits may include: Health Products Catalog

Up to $125 in quarterly credits to buy health products from our catalog.

Transportation Assistance

$0 co-pay for 48 one-way non-emergency trips per calendar year to plan-approved locations.

24-hr NurseLineSM

Speak with a registered nurse (RN) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Personal Emergency Response System $0 co-pay for emergency response services through an electronic monitoring system 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Call today to enroll or get answers to your questions. Speak with a Licensed Sales Agent, call toll-free at:

1-877-683-9076, TTY 711 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. local time, 7 days a week Plans are insured through UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company or one of its affiliated companies, a Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract and a contract with the State Medicaid Program. Enrollment in the plan depends on the plan’s contract renewal with Medicare. This plan is available to anyone who has both Medicare and full Medicaid eligibility. This information is not a complete description of benefits. Contact the plan for more information. Limitations, co-payments, and restrictions may apply. Benefits may change on January 1 of each year. Premiums may vary based on the level of Extra Help you receive. Please contact the plan for further details. Premiums are covered for enrollees of UnitedHealthcare Dual Complete ONE (HMO SNP). This service should not be used for emergency or urgent care needs. In an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. The information provided through this service is for informational purposes only. The nurses cannot diagnose problems or recommend treatment and are not a substitute for your doctor’s care. Your health information is kept confidential in accordance with the law. The service is not an insurance program and may be discontinued at any time. H3113_160217_141827 CST10317A_H3113-005

KAHLIL CARMICHAEL THE FITNESS DOCTOR Kahlil Carmichael is the spiritual director and founder of It Is Well Wellness and Worship Center in Somerset, New Jersey. He is a spiritual leader and the owner of The Fitness Doctor; a fitness and wellness consulting company. He writes a monthly column for The Positive Community Magazine and is the author of 50 Tips for a Better You! To grow spiritually and improve physically, or have Pastor Carmichael present his wellness seminar to your church or group you can email Kahlil at or call 732-921-3746.

Afraid to Exercise


t’s October again and that means it’s time for Halloween. While I do not celebrate this day, I do enjoy giving the kids in my neighborhood treats and speaking a blessing from the Lord over them. I also enjoy sharing a good story about heaven and hell to make my children hide under the covers. My children love my stories, but they often become so fearful of my presentations that each year it becomes more difficult to get them to be active participants. That’s typical. People often avoid participating in activities they fear. This got me wondering, do most people avoid participating or engaging in physical fitness because they are afraid of exercising? A new government study estimates that nearly 80 percent of adult Americans do not get the recommended amount of exercise each week, potentially setting themselves up for years of health problems. Researchers at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzed survey data collected from more than 450,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and older who were randomly phoned across all 50 states. The U.S. government recommends adults get at least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week or one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity, or a combination of both. Adults should also engage in muscle-strengthening activities like lifting weights or doing push-ups at least twice per week. A study last year linked physical inactivity to more than 5 million deaths worldwide per year, more than those caused by smoking. The study revealed that only 20.6 percent of people met the total recommended amount of exercise. Frightening! But even more frightening is the fact that the numbers are getting worse. While I am doing all I can to offer support (mentally, spiritually, and physically) to individuals who make their way to my Fitness Doctor office for help. There is still much more work to do. During a recent conversation with a caller on my weekly radio show Ask the Fitness Doctor (every Friday 6–7 PM on WCTC 1450 am or listen online at, a woman shared her apprehension towards exercise. She said she was fearful about going to the gym for a myriad of reasons.

22 The Positive Community

October 2016

Here are some of the top things people fear when it comes to starting an exercise program: 1. Most people are afraid of failure—One of the most difficult things to overcome is a failed attempt at weight loss or improving one’s health through exercise. So what do people do? Avoid exercise altogether. They make excuses such as, “Everyone in my family is big so I guess that is my lot in life. Or they become angry at the world because the flip side of anger is fear. We only fail when we don’t try. Someone once said, “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” 2. People are afraid of injury—I have heard it over and over again. Someone tried to start an exercise program on their own or worse, with a buddy or friend and injured themselves. When it comes to exercising or improving your health, you should consult a professional. As a certified fitness doctor and health coach (for the past twenty years) I understand the intricacies and specificity of every individual I help become healthy and fit. Get some professional help so you can avoid injury. 3. People are afraid of success—Success in the area of physical fitness and health means that we must now maintain healthy habits for life. No more excuses. You are a witness to the truth that exercising consistently and eating healthier works. And if it works, why not continue doing what yields results? I will tell you why, because eating healthy and exercising for life requires you to be disciplined, and that is scary. The acrostic for fear is, False Evidence Appearing Real. The evidence or facts supporting your fear and anxiety about exercise have been found to be untrue and unreal. There is nothing to fear but fear itself. You can do it, I can help. Eat healthy. Exercise consistently, and live well! If you’re interested in a free consultation or more information on FitCare, call 732-921-3746 or email


n High Risk Pregnancy & Birth n Hip & Knee Replacement Surgery n Neurological Disorders

n Pediatric Cancers n Prostate Cancer n Stroke

IN ADDITION, WE HAVE BEEN INDEPENDENTLY RECOGNIZED FOR EXCELLENCE n By the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for Performance Achievement for the treatment of Stroke and Heart Failure n By HealthGrades® with a 5-Star rating and its Neurosurgery Excellence Award

n In Trauma Care as northern New Jersey’s Level 1 Trauma Center n As one of only two sites in the State for Liver Transplantation n For treatment of the deadliest form of Heart Attack by our EMS, the only such recognition in the State

We’re very proud of this recognition and what it means for the care of our patients. It also means an exceptional opportunity for the education of the next generation of physicians in our role as the flagship teaching hospital for Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and the other schools of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. This partnership ensures highly trained professionals to meet the healthcare needs of New Jersey and beyond. For more information about University Hospital, please call us at 973-972-4300 or go to our website at: 1


































October 2016 The Positive Community





THIS SURVIVOR IS ON FIRE BY GLENDA CADOGAN Michelle Young (center in blue jacket) and her walk team

Three years ago, on the encouragement of her friend Conrad Ifill, a prominent Caribbean businessman and regular contributor to the American Cancer Society, Michelle fielded a team in the Brooklyn version of the Walk for Cure.


t is estimated that each year over 246,660 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 will die. Michelle Young-Holder is numbered among the 246,660. But with a heart of praise, a will of steel, and a positive attitude, she is determined that she will not be counted among the 40,000. She is a survivor. Four years into her breast cancer diagnosis, Michelle is living her best life yet and encouraging others to do the same. It was on September 11, 2012 on what she thought was a routine call back after a mammogram that Michelle, 49, heard the words “malignant” and “tumor” in the same sentence. Her immediate reaction was concern for her husband, whose previous wife had died from breast cancer. After that she turned to her oncologist and said: “‘Let’s do this.’ I was ready to fight,” she said. “This was not going to be my death sentence.” On surgery day, Michelle entered the theater and was greeted with the strains of Alicia Keys’ “This Girl Is On Fire.” “She is just a girl and she is on fire/She is living in a world and she is on fire/Feeling the catastrophe, but she knows she can fly away/She’s got both feet on the ground/And she is burning it down/She got her head in the clouds/And she is not backing down…this girl is on fire.” She later learned that the song was a gift from her doctor who had the practice of selecting music he thought matched the personality of his surgery patients. Michelle graciously accepted “the gift” and the song became her personal anthem throughout her treatment and recovery. In November 2012 Michelle 24 The Positive Community October 2016

had a left breast mastectomy at Harlem Hospital and later followed with a year of chemotherapy at Lincoln Hospital. For the Trinidad-born mother of two college students, the journey has not been without its challenges. At her lowest, Michelle weighed 97 pounds. But today she celebrates being 130 “wellfluffed pounds. I woke up a new person,” she said, adding, “I’d like to think a better person. That brush with death taught me the value of life. It is a gift from God and I don’t intend to waste it,” she added. Three years ago, on the encouragement of her friend Conrad Ifill, a prominent Caribbean businessman and regular contributor to the American Cancer Society, Michelle fielded a team in the Brooklyn version of the Walk for Cure. “The aim was to create greater awareness in the Caribbean American community,” she said. “Going in we knew that we had to motivate people and so we teamed up with Sesame Flyers to put some Caribbean style pizzazz in our ‘band’ of walkers in the Prospect Park Cancer Walk.” The team raised $5,000 in its first year and since then has donated almost $10,000 to the ACS. But it is not only on the public front that Michelle uses her life as a testimony to help others. Privately, her doctors call on her to encourage newly diagnosed patients. “The first time was a young Hispanic woman who wanted to give up when she was diagnosed. My doctor begged me to come in and talk to her. The young woman spoke no English and I, very little Spanish.” Frustrated by her words being lost in translation, Michelle went for dramatic action. “I stripped off my blouse and stood in front of her and said, ‘I am still here. I am still going. And I am still a woman. Find your space and you can do it too.’” Michelle says the biggest lesson she learned from this experience is how not to ask “Why me?” “Overcoming the need to ask this question has been one of the most liberating experiences in my life,” she said. “I am a survivor and I have a message of hope.” Alicia Keys seems to know that too: “Everybody stares as she goes by/’Cause they can see the flame that’s in her eyes/But she gon’ let it burn, baby, burn baby.” According to the American Cancer Society, there are over 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States...Michelle Young-Holder is bravely one of those millions.

Your family has no history of breast cancer.

You still need a mammogram. It’s curious how healthy habits can become go-to excuses. But don’t excuse yourself from getting a mammogram. At RWJBarnabas Health, we offer the latest in comprehensive breast health services including mammograms, 3D mammograms, genetic testing, breast surgery and more — like peace of mind. And with breast health centers conveniently located throughout New Jersey, finding us is simple, too. Making excuses is easy. Making an appointment is easier. Schedule your visit to the The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey Breast Health Center at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center at or call 973-926-7466. Let’s beat breast cancer together.

October 2016 The Positive Community



Now is the Time for Financial Security BY REV. DR. DEFOREST B. SOARIES


ad the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. not been assassinated in 1968, the next item at the top of his list for the civil rights movement was pushing the U.S. Congress to create an economic bill of rights for poor, black communities. King often spoke of the “economic exploitation” and “economic bondage” of African Americans and, in his time, the biggest economic issue was the lack of jobs coupled with a crisis in public education in urban centers. While these challenges still loom large, an even greater issue today for many Americans, particularly black people, is consumer debt. As of this past summer, even though the nation’s black unemployment rate was still double that of whites, it had dipped to 8.8%. Yet, average black families have a low median net worth, carry much more debt, and have fewer resources when they face financial challenges than average white families. Study after study also has shown that lingering effects of institutional racism and negative practices like predatory lending and housing redlining also help keep black families in debt. Pew Research Center reported in 2014, the median net worth of white households was 13 times greater than black households, $141,900 versus $11,000, and 10 times greater than Hispanic households, which came in at $13,700. According to the Aug. 2016 “The Ever–Growing Gap” study, the wealth gap between black and white Americans is so extreme that it would take 228 years for black people to obtain on average what white families have today. But this study assumes that little would change in our economy, with government policy, and with individual responsibility. Of the three, the area we can directly impact is individual responsibility – which is one of the main reasons I created the dfree® financial freedom movement in 2005 to help individuals, small groups, and churches apply simple tools that can, on average within a three to five year time period, lead

October 2016 The Positive Community


people to financial security. Today, thousands of individuals and hundreds of churches have joined dfree®. In fact, some 2,500 people will convene at First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, New Jersey Nov. 10-12, 2016 for the 5th annual Financial Freedom Movement conference, “Say Yes to the Next Level,” which I urge you to attend. The invigorating event includes a powerhouse speaker lineup, a concert by Gospel Legend Erica Campbell, and practical workshops, training and tools that will enable you to join dfree® and start your personal journey to financial success. Why do you need to start taking control of your finances today? In my book, Say Yes to No Debt: 12 Steps to Financial Freedom, I outline how consumer debt has become the new slavery. We’ve shackled ourselves with fear, stress, and shame by spending far more than we’re taking in or saving. However, the time has come to emancipate ourselves. That’s why dfree® is a financial freedom movement. dfree® stands for no debt, no deficits, and no delinquencies. By changing our attitudes about what is crippling us, we are able to make room for and say yes to that which shall sustain us and our families – deposits, deeds, and dividends. As we increase our savings, insurance, and investments we also increase our spiritual grounding, confidence, self-esteem, and personal discipline. There are four basics to starting your dfree® journey: get started, get control, get ahead, and give back. This, by no means, is an easy undertaking, which is why dfree® has built-in support networks and, because I am a pastor, faith-based networks and resources for continual improvement. The program can be done individually, starting with tracking your spending, and it can be done in groups. When I first started talking about dfree® in my church, I assumed people might be reticent about sharing their personal finances. Today, we have dfree® Sundays where people proudly share their stories of eliminating not just debt but the root causes of debt from their lives. Our church went from worrying about how we would pay bills to collecting more than $1 million in 28 The Positive Community October 2016

new donations in just one year’s time. So I learned that individual behavior changes had to be reinforced by positive community messages. Our entire American culture encourages us to pursue more, which may be fine as long as we first teach ourselves the discipline we need to become financially literate and responsible so that we can not only sustain ourselves, but pass our wealth to future generations. As Rev. Dr. King once said, “We must never let it be said that we spend more for the evanescent and ephemeral than for the eternal values of freedom and justice.” Our entire nation is in deep trouble, and perhaps the largest indicator of our trouble is our level of debt – not only family debt but national debt as well. The culture of debt that engulfs every level of government can erode the quality of life and the strength of the nation for generations. Even worse, when it comes to challenging certain countries on matters such as human rights, civil rights, women’s rights, workers’ rights, and religious freedom, we have become muzzled because some of the countries with the greatest repression, needs, and challenges are lending us money as we live above our means. The borrower is indeed slave to the lender. How just is it that younger generations of Americans have been put in the tenuous position of becoming the first to be projected to actually do worse in their lifetimes than previous generations? Greed is just one of several vices that has become a culturally accepted value, allowing us to justify our poor stewardship of important resources and ignore some of our basic responsibilities to ourselves and to our neighbors. dfree® is a transformational, lifestyle movement that guides you away from the relatively recent deception that consumption is our prime purpose and motivation in life and toward the rewarding satisfaction of being a free individual who can truly participate in life, particularly through helping others. The dfree® financial freedom movement addresses the cultural, psychological, and spiritual influences on financial wellness and offers practical strategies for growth. It’s imperative, for our individual, family and national health, to take the muchneeded steps now to move toward financial security.



SayYesto...apower-packedlineupofworkshops: Women & Finance, Entrepeneurship, Money & TechnologyandDfreeNextLevel,networkingand trainingsessions,withspectacularspecialguests andcelebratethedfree® Awardsandliveconcert with Grammy Award-Winning Gospel Artist, ERICA CAMPBELL.




NOVEMBER 10-12, 2016






Rev. Dr. Charles Butler is the VP of Equitable Development, Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement (HCCI).

The Believers Shall Be Set Free


n John 8:31-32 there is a fascinating passage of scripture as it relates to spiritual wealth building. Here we find Jesus informing some of the Jewish followers who believed in Him with a wonderful word of encouragement as He tells them, “If you continue in my word, then you are my disciples indeed: and you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” For people of African American heritage, the word “freedom” has a special significance. Our long and painful history of enduring the disgraceful indignities of slavery has not been completely forgotten or adequately resolved. Our forefathers were forced to endured a heavy psychological, emotional, social and physical burden for centuries. They had been brought and sold as property. They had been brutally forced to survive the cruel rigors of harsh labor. Often these disgracefully inflicted invisible wounds have been passed down leaving an intergenerational legacy of bondage on many members of our community. With no advocate, no voice to speak out on their behalf they called on the Lord. The grace of God sustained them. They found Jesus and accepted Him as their Lord and Savior. The love of Jesus was able to support them through the toughest trials and tribulations. Today there is still an extremely high degree of racial profiling against Black men. The unnecessary proliferation of gang violence continues to plague many urban communities and require you to ask the question just how free have we become? Recently there has been an unusual high incident rate of police shootings of unarmed Black men. It truly appears that we as a community have not become free at all but rather we have become entangled and enslaved to many destructive passions. Racial hatred and intolerance in many instances is just as prevalent today as it was 50 years ago. It appears that we have not become free from the strife and animosity that led this country to a civil war. The ground cries out for the loss of innocent blood, Genesis 4:10. But unfortunately many of these criminal acts continue to go unpunished by the law. At least we would think, but God said, “Vengeance is mine,” Deuteronomy 32:35. He will have the last word in due time.

30 The Positive Community

October 2016

In this passage, Jesus was referring to freedom from spiritual bondage through believing in Him. The enemy was holding humanity hostage. Our rebellion against God had a devastating long lasting impact for our future. We had all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. There was no way that we could save ourselves. We were doomed to spiritual death, eternal damnation and complete separation from God. But Jesus tells all who are believe in Him today if His word abides in you; then you shall be free. He came to proclaim liberty to the captives; to set free those who are oppressed, Luke 4:18. His sacrificial death on the cross paid the full ransom for our sins. Those who continue in His word shall be free. Your debt has been paid in full. You have received a full pardon. The world will remain alien to the love of God. The world does not know Him or hears His voice, John 14:17. But you who have been called out of darkness and into His marvelous light, know there is a God. You can stand firmly on His promises. Enjoy the spiritual blessings and freedom only found in the love of Christ Jesus. John 8:36 states, “Therefore if the Son has set you free, you shall be free indeed.”




Open for Business Newark Community EDC Drives Business Development In partnership with Rutgers University, Newark Community EDC is working to develop an intensive and comprehensive program for formerly incarcerated Newark residents. The goal of the ReEntry Entrepreneurship program is to help the participants build business skills and provide opportunities for business development and entrepreneurship.


ewark Community Economic Development Corporation (Newark Community EDC) led by Scott A. Blow, CEO and acting president, is the catalyst for the resurgence of the City of Newark as a prime destination for business. “It is an honor to be a part of the continuing economic revival in Newark,” said Blow. “Our efforts further Mayor Baraka’s vision of economic development that touches every ward in the city.” Among the many community-focused business initiatives the agency has put in place is the Community Storefront retail business incubator program. Each storefront program places 20 retail entrepreneurs through a 12-16 week intensive boot camp, to empower and provide the participants with the tools to become successful retail entrepreneurs. This gives participants the skills necessary to manage, develop, and grow their retail businesses. Upon successful completion of the boot camp, Newark Community EDC locates a vacant storefront, leases, renovates, and prepares participants to move in. “Lowering the barrier to entry is the goal,” explained Blow. “If an individual wanted to open a storefront, it would require upfront capital in the tens of thousands of dollars, not to mention a lease obligation that could be as much as $74,000.” Newark Community EDC is setting precedence for the state and country in grassroots entrepreneurial development. By December 31,

32 The Positive Community October 2016

Scott Blow

2016, just slightly longer than one year from the first storefront opening, five community storefront locations will have opened, one in each ward of the city. Nowhere else in the country are retail incubators being created at this pace. In partnership with Rutgers University, Newark Community EDC is working to develop an intensive and comprehensive program for formerly incarcerated Newark residents. The goal of the ReEntry Entrepreneurship program is to help the participants build business skills and provide opportunities for business development and entrepreneurship. The business team provides additional services including relocation and attraction, technical assistance, business loans, business license assistance, and M/W/DBE certification. A tri-alum of Rutgers University, Scott Blow holds a BS, an MBA, and a Law degree from that esteemed institution. A strong advocate for Newark and using his extensive background in comprehensive real estate development, community, and nonprofit social services, Blow is steeri n g N e w a r k C o m m u n i t y E D C o n t h e r i g h t course as it becomes a major contributor to N e w a r k ’s r e v i v a l . Ye s , N e w a r k i s o p e n f o r b u s i n e s s a n d S c o t t Blow is at the door welcoming all who would e n t e r a n d h e l p i n g t h e m t a k e p a r t i n t h e c i t y ’s renaissance.

How We Can Help Your Business Grow Newark CEDC is Newark’s economic development corporation Enhance small to midsize Newark business capacity Technical Assistance and Support for Women and Minority Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs. Assistance with site selection and business expansion Loan Programs and Tax Incentive Programs Available


Newark Department of Economic & Housing Development

For more information: E: T: 973-273-1040 F: 973-273-1070

@NewarkCEDC #NewarkOpenForBusiness



nyone visiting the city of Newark can see signs of continuing urban revitalization downtown. The area around Military Park has been undergoing a renaissance over the past decade or so, spurred by the development and opening of New Jersey Performing Arts Center and other nearby venues (including the now defunct site of Riverfront Stadium, which will eventually be redeveloped, and Prudential Center, the arena that’s home to the New Jersey Devils, New Jersey Nets and many large-scale rock concerts). Dining venues are popping up and the office space market has perked up to accommodate the needs of employers who are investing in the city. For one, there’s the relatively new Prudential Financial office tower on Broad Street, which will eventually house several dining establishments. This project was good for the city and for office building owners, representing a positive stance vis-à-vis Newark’s future and the fact that since it was built to house Prudential’s employees, it therefore does not compete with other space. It is rejuvenating without being competitive, further signaling the rebound that’s happening downtown, and giving greater impetus to other commercial real estate developers to keep the forward momentum going. Also fueling the revitalization is

the new residential boom that’s happening in that area: the Haines project—repurposing a historic abandoned department store into upscale housing and retail—and the recent groundbreaking for One Theatre Square, downtown’s first upscale residential project in over five decades. Adjacent to the Robert Treat Hotel, across from NJPAC on one side and Military Park on the other, the building will include street-level retail space, plenty of parking, and is within walking distance of Penn Station and the PATH. New residents seeking proximity to their work will in turn spur the construction and opening of more restaurants and service businesses to accommodate the new residents who are likely to be younger urban professionals with eclectic tastes and interests. All of this heralds a new era for downtown Newark as a work/live/play area which, is good news for the office space market in Newark – new residents, more employees, a more vibrant atmosphere on nights and weekends, and continued investment in the city all adds up to continued need for quality office space for companies and their workforces. Add to those factors that Newark has always been a great place for office locations—with an easy commute by car or rail, and safe business thoroughfares—and things are looking up indeed.

34 The Positive Community October 2016

Finding office space in Newark Companies on the market for office space have a great online option:, a website that showcases several buildings in the heart of Newark’s central business district. A quick search in a browser for “office space Newark” or “Newark office space” will bring you to this helpful website (it’s listed first in the search results under the shared office space sites). is easy to navigate and shows clearly what is available in the area to lease, in a range of prices to suit companies of all sizes and stages of development. Businesses will find individual office space as well as single-tenant buildings

available for lease.

featured are close to Seton Hall Law School, RutgersClass A buildings on Broad Newark, Rutgers Law Street and Park Place, near School, NJIT and University the newly renovated Military of Medicine and Dentistry, Park as well as Washington as well as the highly Park, are featured, and respected Newark Museum represent a mix of modern and of course, NJPAC. and landmark properties. Gateway Center and Penn The listings provide all the Station, with easy access information prospective to Manhattan, are also tenants need to compare just a few blocks away as and decide where to look are numerous street-level (and locate). Floor plans and and underground parking downloadable brochures lots and parking decks for are available on the site for drivers. The listed rents most of the properties, as are are much more affordable details about the buildings’ than Manhattan—less particular amenities and than half the cost for upgrades, and information comparable space—which about the surrounding area makes Newark attractive for each listing. to early-stage companies The buildings that are seeking an affordable place

to establish offices. With dining and entertainment becoming a bigger part of the downtown scene, and with top-notch residential options in the neighborhood on the horizon, Newark’s commercial district offers a lot of bang for the office space buck. With the surge in development downtown, both commercial and residential, it’s clear that working in downtown Newark is a trend whose time has never disappeared, but with all the live and play options coming available, setting up office space in Newark has certainly come back in 21st century style.

Newark Celebration 350 Commissioned Commemorative Print by Renowned Artist and Activist Faith Ringgold is Here! Purchase your limited edition, 42” x 30” silk-screen print on archival paper now of "A Day in Newark's 350th Year Celebration" at a special pre-sale price of $975 (regular price $1500). Only 200 signed and numbered prints available. ORDER HERE at For over six decades, Faith Ringgold’s oeuvre of artistry and activism has been revered by the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Gloria Steinem, Amiri Baraka and arts critics and curators of major museums around the world. Her extraordinary body of work has created a powerful and startling canvas that capture, confound and confront audiences with the beauty, struggles and diversity of the African American experience. #newark350

Signature Partners

October 2016 The Positive Community


L-R: Mike Ricketts, QPSI; John Oxtoby and John Rogers, both from Ariel Investments; John E. Harmon, Sr., AACCNJ; and Janus Holder, EJE Travel Retail

L-R: John E. Harmon, Sr.; Tracey Syphax; Mike Ricketts; John Rogers; and Hosea Johnson, AACC, NJ, Board chairman

Business Leaders Meet

Photos: Karen Waters

AACCNJ Annual Conference


iversity with a Purpose” was the theme of the African American Chamber of Commerce of NJ 6th Annual Business Leadership conference, at Newark’s Robert Treat Hotel. Special guests included Ralph LaRossa, president and COO, PSEG; The Honorable Ronald L. Rice, NJ State Senator, NJ; and keynote speaker Bennett L. Gaines, Jersey Central Power & Light (JCPL). The African-American Chamber of Commerce of NJ is a non-profit corporation founded in 2007. A member of the National Black Chamber of Commerce Federation, the chamber provides advocacy and support for businesses throughout the State of New Jersey.

36 The Positive Community October 2016

NJ State Senator Ron Rice and Newark Council President Mildred Crump


oday, Public Service Electric & Gas is one of the top-performing utilities in the United States. And a diverse and motivated workforce is key to the company’s continued success, according to Ralph A. LaRossa, PSE&G’s president and chief operating officer. LaRossa, who also is serving a term as chairman of the American Gas Association, believes that the growth in the nation’s natural gas industry means greater opportunity for utilities such as PSE&G to add to its workforce.

PSE&G is replacing its aging cast-iron and unprotected steel gas lines with durable plastic piping that is much less likely to have leaks and release methane gas.

“We have an abundance of this resource, and our system is built to be safe and reliable for generations,” LaRossa said. “That stability is not only helping to meet our national energy goals, but also providing good jobs and food on the table for families of employees in the industry.”

The result, LaRossa says, is in the numbers: PSE&G’s unionized membership has grown 20 percent in his time as president of the company. And in 2015, PSE&G ranked highest in gas service business customer service satisfaction in the East, according to J.D. Power and Associates surveys. The company also was named to the America’s Best Employers list for Forbes magazine for the same year.

Here in New Jersey, PSE&G is pursuing an ambitious modernization plan for its entire gas network. That plan calls for replacing hundreds of miles worth of aging gas mains – constructed decades ago from cast iron and unprotected steel – with state-of-the-art plastic piping. The modernization program will mean a safer, more reliable and environmentally friendly natural gas network for nearly 2 million customers in PSE&G’s service territory. It also will mean hundreds of new jobs for New Jersey workers – full-time, blue-collar, middle-class jobs with good benefits. PSE&G also is proud of the role it plays in developing a diverse, homegrown workforce: The utility does not require applicants to have specific skills or education, and will hire and train high school graduates. The company has a gas distribution apprentice program that includes 12 months of training, as well as an appliance service program that is 30 months long. To help attract a diverse workforce, PSE&G recruiters attend conferences, job fairs, career expos, university recruiting events and also organize our own outreach events for candidates with technical backgrounds. Through the PSEG Foundation, PSE&G supports STEM education programs in Newark and other New Jersey

cities to help maintain a diverse pipeline of potential future employees.

The continued abundant supply of natural gas – which has driven down PSE&G’s residential customers’ gas bills by 51 percent since 2009 – also will mean continued opportunities for employment growth. PSE&G is committed to developing a diverse, committed workforce that will contribute in a meaningful way to the growth of New Jersey’s middle class and serve as a growth engine for the entire state’s economy. About PSE&G Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G) is New Jersey’s largest provider of electric and gas service – serving 2.2 million electric customers and 1.8 million gas customers, or nearly three out of every four people in the state. PSE&G is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG), a diversified energy company. Established in 1903, Public Service has long had a key role in fueling New Jersey’s economy and supporting the state’s quality of life. PSEG has approximately 13,000 employees, who are carrying forward a proud tradition of dedicated service over more than 100 years. October 2016 The Positive Community




omething powerful happened in Newark one Monday evening last month: more than 500 people from the community packed NJPAC’s Victoria Theater to engage in a robust, candid, and solutionsoriented conversation about race, policing, and moving our communities forward. The forum, which featured an unprecedented lineup of community leaders, activists, and experts who are at the forefront of these issues, highlighted ways for us to work together to seize this moment to realize the police reform that so many have been fighting for since the Newark Rebellion 49 years ago. By the end of the conversation, one thing seemed clear: there is an urgent need to fundamentally transform the relationship between law enforcement and communities of color they serve. Over the last two years, we watched as residents of several communities of color across this nation — moved by long-simmering frustration and anger — took to the streets to protest the killings of Terence Crutcher, Keith Lamont Scott, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Laquan McDonald, Michael Brown, Korryn Gaines, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, Akai Gurley, Walter Scott, Abdul Kamal, and so many others. These killings underscore the necessity of ensuring that police officers serve and protect all of us. As the Department of Justice report found, law enforcement abuses in Newark are every bit as troubling as those that took place in Ferguson and Baltimore. The DOJ determined that, incredibly, Newark’s police officers had no legal basis for 75 percent of their pedestrian stops. Fortunately, in this potentially transformative moment, the likes of which I do not think we have ever seen, we have at least three unprecedented opportunities for real police reform here in New Jersey that could serve as a national model.

38 The Positive Community

October 2016

First, July 12, 2016 marked the 49th anniversary of the Newark Rebellion, which was sparked by police abuse of John Smith, a black cabdriver. On that same day, a federal court approved a panel of experts—led by former New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey—to serve as the federal monitoring team over the Newark Police Department in accordance with a settlement reached by the Department of Justice and the city of Newark. The settlement—which came about in response to the devastating findings of racially discriminatory and unconstitutional conduct by the Newark Police Department—is intended to bring wideranging reforms. Second, following a more than 50-year fight for civilian-led police accountability, Newark recently made history when Mayor Ras Baraka and the City Council unanimously agreed to create a permanent new vehicle for police oversight. This civilian complaint review board will empower a citizen panel to review complaints against police. And finally, beginning this year, every state trooper will be required to wear body-worn cameras. That makes New Jersey one of the first states to recognize the interconnected nature of transparency and legitimacy in policing. In a very real sense, each of these recent developments is the direct result of at least 49 years of fierce, sustained, and expert advocacy by many courageous people who have always recognized that the fight for real police reform is part and parcel of the broader struggle against racism and for equality and freedom. Thus, our conversation traced its historic roots directly to courageous people like Sojourner Truth, who in 1851 in Akron, Ohio asked, “Arn’t I am woman?”; and Amiri Baraka; Dr. Nathan Wright, Jr.; and Junius Williams, and many others, who in 1967 here in Newark, New Jersey, declared that what was really needed was the continued on page 73

Cornell Brooks

Roanoke Police Department captain Rick Morrison, from left, escorts national NAACP youth and College Director Stephen Green and National NAACP President Cornell William Brooks with Roanoke police officer Cobb after Green and Brooks were arrested for criminal trespassing and refusing to sign a summons after a six-hour sit-in at U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte's district office in Roanoke, Va., on Monday evening, August 8, 2016. About 20 protesters with the NAACP held a sit-in to call for restoration of provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that were nullified by a 2013 U.S. Supreme Court decision. (Erica Yoon/The Roanoke Times via AP)

A Leader for the 21st Century The Early Years oung Cornell Brooks saw the world before him and felt that he could be anyone and anything he so desired. “I wanted to be a physician, like my father,” he recalled pensively. “But I was as interested in the justice issues in the news as I was in microscopes.” His father had gifted him a microscope for his birthday, but little did either of them know at the time that it wouldn’t be organisms and cells Cornell Brooks would be zooming in on and examining under the microscope. “I loved the microscope,” he recalled, “but I loved watching and listening to the news even more.” As the years passed, his chosen vocation may have changed, but not his core passion for helping people.


His calling to help and defend people would manifest itself in different ways and it matured and grew with him. “Had I always imagined myself doing social justice work in the back of my mind? Yes,” he pondered before adding, “In the forefront of my mind…I thought that medicine was a great way to serve humanity, and it is. But, I’d much rather be focused on the world around me than looking at things under a microscope and seeing patients. I feel I can heal more people by treating justice.” He decided at the last moment during college registration to change his major to Political Science. “I moved from one vision of a helping profession to another,” he explained. “But the common foundation would be seeing work as service and service as ministry. I’ve always felt continued on next page

October 2016 The Positive Community


CORNELL BROOKS continued from previous page

that way.” Brooks’ upbringing likely had much to do with that. He’s a fourth-generation minister in the A.M.E. church whose great-grandfather ran for Congress in 1946. “He ran, not because he thought he could win, but rather because he wanted to encourage African Americans to register to vote and to join the ranks of the NAACP,” Brooks explained. “That vision of ministry and social justice was the early part of my DNA. I didn’t acknowledge or even appreciate it as a young man, but it was always there.” Cornell Brooks has “the receipts” to prove it, too. “I was always the kid arguing and debating what was right and defending people in high school,” he chuckled. “Be it the African American athletes who weren’t getting the same attention as the white athletes, thus not getting the same scholarship offers. Or in my Catholic junior high school, I expressed my opinion to the nuns that equal time should be given to the theory of evolution and that my classmates and I were being severely disserviced by only being taught creation.” He was working in social justice before he knew exactly what he wanted to do with his life. A Small-Town Guy in Newark fter completing undergrad at Jackson State University and completing a Masters of Divinity at Boston University, Brooks completed law school at Yale. Subsequently he established himself in Washington, DC legal circles where he worked as executive director of the Fair Housing Council of Greater Washington and as a trial attorney with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and became senior counsel with the Federal Communications Commission. He also ran, unsuccessfully, for Congress in 1998 in the Northern Virginia district where he lived with his family. He headed north to New Jersey ending up in Newark as president and CEO of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. “In many ways, Newark was vastly different from anywhere I’d ever lived; and eerily familiar. What was familiar to me was the beautiful culture that made me call Newark the northernmost southern small town,” he reflected. “I remember saying this to Clem Price, the university professor at Rutgers, this great friend to the institute and wonderful voice, the griot of Newark… and he said, ‘You got it!’” Brooks came to love Newark and understand what made it feel so much like home. “It just struck me that there’s a small town quality to Newark. A lot of people know each other. Newark has a strong sense of place and personality. People of Newark don’t see themselves as citizens of greater New York; they see themselves as residents of northern New Jersey. They’re really clear about seeing themselves as from Newark and of the neighborhood.” As Brooks continued to speak, I noticed he no longer used “them” and “they” when referring to the people of


40 The Positive Community

October 2016

Newark. “Also, in Newark we’re critical of our own,” he cautioned. “But we’re intolerant of anyone who is unfairly critical. Growing up in South Carolina, I totally get that. The people are very, very quick to defend the honor, reputation, and the perception of their hometown.” Even now that his work has taken him away from Brick City, Brooks recalls fondly his time in Newark. “I was surprised by how much I came to love Newark, and I still miss it. The Acela train takes me past the old office. I can look out the window and see the Military Park Building. I can see the places I used to visit with people, talk to people... I’d be less than candid if I didn’t say that I get this feeling of homesickness, every time.” Brooks recognized the secret every Newarker knows: Newark has its own heartbeat, its own breath, its own rhythm. “It has its own characters—these are people who really care about their city and are dedicated,” he volunteered. “These people are standout and standup folks. I didn’t expect that. I went to work in public policy, and because we did all of this workforce development with people coming out of prison, I met a lot of lawyers, but I also met a lot of electricians, beauticians, and all types of people… Newark is not a small town, but it definitely has a small-town feel.” 21st Century Criminalization ne of the things Cornell Brooks is most passionate about is reforming our biased criminal justice system. “The notion that someone who was convicted of a crime ten, twenty, thirty or forty years ago is permanently outcast from society is a statement about society, not about the person,” he said intensely. “We represented a man convicted forty years ago of possessing five pills of valium without a prescription. Forty years ago. When we heard his story, we said we need a Rosa Parks of reentry…” They were able to secure a pardon for the man and use him to appeal for much needed systemwide change. “We basically used that pardon to educate the Governor’s office and the Attorney General’s office about the importance of taking on collateral sanction… We were saying, if a 65-year old grandfather… if he can be hemmed-up by these anachronistic, irrational, immoral laws, what does it say for everybody else? We have to delegitimize this notion of criminalizing people right out of existence.”


Ministry and Mobilization aving a familial history of politics, ministry, and social justice makes Cornell Brooks uniquely qualified to helm the national office of the NAACP at this time. “There are moments when in order to go forward it helps to look back,” he explained, his voice reminding me of his roots in the church. “We have to


take a hard look at the assets we have in our community. We have more wealth and talent than we realize, and the church is an incredible moral and financial asset, but it’s also an analytic asset. We are at a moment when we’re in the midst of post-millennium civil rights.” He continued, “We need the best minds and the best hearts being brought to bear on these racial challenges, the criminal justice challenges, the voter suppression challenges. The largest repository for that wisdom, that moral energy, that civic energy is the church. Other institutions may be trying to surpass it, but when we talk about organization and leveraging time, talent, and treasure— that’s still the church.” Recently, the AME church announced NAACP Sundays. “They’ve dedicated resources to the first presidential election in fifty years without the full protection of the Voting Rights Act,” he explained. “I believe that at a moment of great tension, great stress, and disillusionment, is a tragic opportunity for the church. This is the time for us to lean on the very thing that our forebears relied upon to secure the victories that enabled us to be where we are today. When the protesters were beaten bloody and senseless during the Selma to Montgomery march, they retreated to a church,” that preacher’s quality became evident in his speech again. “That is both history and a metaphor; it’s history in terms of what happened, and it’s a metaphor for what should happen in a post-millennium civil rights movement. We need to retreat to secure moral and theological sustenance from the church, but also, we’re going to get some of our best thinking from folks who know how to organize; folks who know how to hold people together.” The Road Ahead s many people are becoming “socially active” online with social media, Brooks and the NAACP have embraced the new technology while continuing time-honored and proven traditions. In just the last year, online membership in the more than 100 year-old organization grew by 28 percent. “Those are young people,” he said proudly. “When we marched from Selma to D.C. over the course of 43 days, only 3,000 or so people marched the 1,002 miles. But, 5 million people engaged online.” He reflected on the symbolism and importance of the journey. “During the first leg of the journey in Alabama, we slept at the St. Luke’s Retreat Center, which is where the Selma protesters stayed and slept during the Selma to Montgomery march.” He continued, “We stayed and spoke in churches all along the way. There’s a vital connection between the post-millennium civil rights movement and the church if we let it happen. We’ve got to be intentional and we can’t underestimate the assets we already have.” As time grew short, there were so many other topics to


“When we marched from Selma to D.C. over the course of 43 days, only 3,000 or so people marched the 1,002 miles. But, 5 million people engaged online.” “It just struck me that there’s a small town quality to Newark. A lot of people know each other. Newark has a strong sense of place and personality. People of Newark don’t see themselves as citizens of greater New York; they see themselves as residents of northern New Jersey. They’re really clear about seeing themselves as from Newark and of the neighborhood.” “We’re working on establishing a national standard for excessive use of force. When you drive down I-95, there’s a speed limit, but there’s no national speed limit in terms of people’s humanity. There’s no national standard for excessive use of force—there’s no national standard for minimum code of conduct for police officers.

discuss, Black Lives Matter, criminal justice reform, etc. Brooks offered some insight into what the NAACP is doing to take on those issues. “Policing is not the whole of our criminal justice challenges, but it is the ugly face of the challenges . . . ,” he said. “We’re working on establishing a national standard for excessive use of force. When you drive down I-95, there’s a speed limit, but there’s no national speed limit in terms of people’s humanity. There’s no national standard for excessive use of force—there’s no national standard for minimum code of conduct for police officers.” Before parting, Brooks offered me a window into how his faith informs his life and the work he does. “It informs, illuminates, critiques, and criticizes all that I do,” he explained. “You have to lean on your faith. Be prayerful. Ask God for guidance, discernment, judgment, and patience… Realize that people need to know that you care before they care about what you know.” He left me with a reminder that “You wake up every day knowing that you make mistakes, and the people around you are going to make mistakes. You have to trust God to help you do that which needs to be done.” And while Cornell Brooks knows that there’s much work to be done, he is grateful for the support of his friends and family and the sacrifices they make so that he may work toward something better for all of us. He also knows how to call on His Father for help. October 2016 The Positive Community


th Anniversary

NAACP New York State Conference


Dr. Hazel N. Dukes, president, NAACP New York State Conference

he 80th anniversary of the founding of the New York State Conference was observed during the organization’s annual benefit gala on Thursday, October 6, at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel. The conference depends on donor support to continue in the shared effort toward achieving equality and justice for all New Yorkers. This event enables NAACP NYS Conference to continue its advocacy for civil rights across the state. This year’s honorees were Cicely Tyson, actress, advocate and humanitarian, who received the Lifetime Achievement award; Vicki Fuller, chief investment officer, New York State Common Retirement Fund; and George Gresham, president 1199SEIU.

Photos: Seitu Oronde

Phylicia Rashad, Tony Award-Winning actress, author, and director

L-R: Richard D. Parsons, gala chair; Governor Andrew M. Cuomo; Dr. Hazel N. Dukes, president; and Gala Chair Reginald Van Lee

Honoree Vicki Fuller, chief investment officer, NYS Common Retirement Fund; and Richard D. Parsons

Cicely Tyson with Reginald Van Lee

42 The Positive Community October 2016

Cost-saving benefits, personalized care

Medicare Advantage and Dual Advantage Plans for 2017 Cost-saving Benefits Help from Our Experts Doctors You Know and Trust

Your licensed Medicare Sales Representative will meet with you in the comfort of your home, answer all your questions, and help you choose the plan that’s right for you.

Depending on the plan, key benefits include: • $0 monthly plan premium • $0 deductible for prescription drugs • $0 copay for preferred generic drugs • $0 or low copay for doctor visits • Prepaid, over-the-counter card for non-prescription, health-related items • $0 copay for annual dental checkup • Flexible spending benefit • Transportation...and much more!

The benefit information provided is a brief summary, not a complete description of benefits. For more information, contact the plan. Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply. Benefits, formulary, pharmacy network, premium and/or copayments/coinsurance may change on January 1 of each year. You must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium. Fidelis Care is a Coordinated Care plan with a Medicare contract and a contract with the New York State Department of Health Medicaid program. Enrollment in Fidelis Care depends on contract renewal. Fidelis Care is an HMO plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Fidelis Care depends on contract renewal. H3328_FC 16145 Accepted

Open Enrollment runs from October 15-December 7, 2016 It’s easy to join. Call us today! 1-800-860-8707 TTY: 1-800-558-1125 Monday–Sunday, 8:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m. from October 1–February 14 Monday–Friday, 8:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m. from February 15–September 30 @fideliscare

106 Years Fighting For Justice


he New York City Branch NAACP commemorated 106 years fighting for justice in June at their annual Freedom Fund Gala. Honorees Shaun Francois and Earl Philips were among the hundreds gathered at the Hilton Hotel in Manhattan to join in the celebration.

Seated: L-R: Anthony Harmon, president NY Branch NAACP; Hazel Dukes, NYS Conference president; Lauren Solomon, youth president, NY Branch NAACP; Standing: L-R: Geoffrey Eaton, president Mid-Manhattan NAACP Branch; Lynn Spivey, president NY NAACP Chapter; Leroy Gadsden, president Jamaica, NY NAACP Branch

Photos: Seitu Oronde

Mid-Manhattan branch of NAACP celebrated their 50th Anniversary at the Marina Del Ray, Bronx, NY

L-R: Cheryl Willis, Willie Walker, and Hon. Judge Tanya R. Kennedy

L-R: Voza Rivers, Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce NYC; Cheryl Willis, News1 anchor; and NY State Senator, Adriano D. Espaillat, Congressman Elect

L-R: Geoffrey Eaton, president mid-Manhattan NAACP; Dr. Hazel Dukes, president New York State Conference NAACP; Sylvia White, chief of staff; and Ebone` Carrington, president/CEO, Harlem Hospital; and G. Keith Alexander, Touro College, NY

Rev. Reginald Williams with Nyla Jenkins, who was awarded a NAACP life-time membership, and Nyla’s mother, Elizabeth Sweeting

44 The Positive Community October 2016

L-R: Geoffrey Eaton, Hon. Charles Rangel, and G. Keith Alexander




Celebrating the Passion & Promise in our Public Schools United Federation of Teachers • A Union of Professionals 52 Broadway, New York, NY 10004 212.777.7500 Officers: Michael Mulgrew President • Howard Schoor Secretary • Mel Aarnson Treasurer • Leroy Barr Assistant Secretary • Tom Brown Asssist Treasurer Vice Presidents: Karen Alford • Carmen Alvarez • Janella Hinds • Richard Mantel • Evelyn DeJesus • Anne Goldman • Sterling Roberson

Past and present staff of Center for Law and Social Justice

The Center for Law and Social Justice (CLSJ) 30th Year Celebration


CLSJ’s advocacy projects and litigation include: a) voting rights; b) equity in public education; c) police-related harassment and abuse; e) discrimination issues; and, g) human rights violations in the United States.


he Center for Law and Social Justice (CLSJ) at Medgar Evers College, CUNY celebrated its 30th anniversary with an awards ceremony at the elegant, multi-dimensional, Sweet Event Hall in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn recently. The center is viewed as the flag bearer for racial justice in New York City and the only local racial justice organization focusing on issues effecting black New Yorkers. Its importance was evident from the crowds of people packed into the historic venue for the event. In the company of riveting portraits of former and current nationally acclaimed activists were elected officials, local leaders, prominent educators, and well-wishers to honor and encourage three remarkable women: Esmeralda Simmons, Esq., a fearless warrior for the underserved and underrepresented, who is founding executive 46 The Positive Community October 2016

director of Center for Law and Social Justice, and who has been steadfast in her commitment to the mission of the organization; Dr. Adelaide Sanford, vice chancellor emerita, NYS Board of Regents; and Civil Rights Attorney Jacqueline Berrien, who was awarded posthumously. NY State Senator Velmanette Montgomery, Public Advocate Letitia James, Assembly women Annette Robinson and Latrice Walker, and City council members Robert Cornegy Jr. and Al Vann (retired) made presentations or spoke of the center’s “staying on Freedom and Justice” focus on behalf of people of African ancestry. Regent Dr. Lester Young presented the CLSJ Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Sanford as he praised her for “Knowing that parents are critical to the education of children. If we ever needed

Photos: Lem Peterkin

Janai Nelson of NAACP Legal Defense Fund presents the award for Jacqueline Berrien Esq. to her husband Peter Williams

a law center, we need it now,” he declared. In her acceptance, Dr. Sanford reminded all that, “We have to use the law and make it do what is right for children.” In this season of political and social uncertainty, there is a dense heaviness permeating the air, induced by persistent lies and injustices running rampant throughout institutions and the country. The Center for Law and Social Justice has developed an outstanding historic record of righting wrongs through advocacy programs, projects, and litigation. CLSJ’s advocacy projects and litigation

Esmeralda Simmons, Esq. accepts her award from Judge Paul Wooten

Regent-at-large Dr. Lester Young presented the CLSJ Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Adelaide Sanford

LAW OFFICE OF CLARENCE BARRY-AUSTIN, P.C. 76 South Orange Avenue Suite 207 South Orange, NJ 07079 TELEPHONE: 973-763-8500 FAX: 973-763-4800 MEMBER OF NJ AND NY BARS • CERTIFIED CIVIL TRIAL ATTORNEY

Selected to the New Jersey Super Lawyers List for the tenth consecutive year Practice limited to personal injury and other civil litigation matters


Email: Website:

include: voting rights; equity in public education; policerelated harassment and abuse; discrimination issues; and, human rights violations in the United States. Because of its unique synthesis of research, public policy advocacy, and litigation, the Center for Law and Social Justice has a successful record of fighting discrimination. CLSJ is a focal point for progressive activity that results in creative, action-oriented solutions and social change. Senator Montgomery, in presenting her proclamation to CLSJ, avowed. “We must never forget institutions that are important to us, which we built ourselves, to protect the rights of people.” The outstanding list of the achievements of The Center for Law and Social Justice on behalf of the community’s residents speaks volumes.

October 2016 The Positive Community













Planting in the Garden State Pillar College Puts Roots Down in Newark


ive years ago Hurricane Irene devastated New Jersey with record flooding. It was August 2011, and the future of what was then known as Somerset Christian College was uncertain. The campus in Franklin Township was inundated under six feet of water. Just as the fall semester was about to commence, the buildings were condemned and the college was homeless Less than three years earlier, the college, under the director of President David E. Schroeder, had started a small urban campus in Newark. The vision of the president and the board of trustees was to “plant in the Garden State” by establishing satellite campuses in urban areas throughout the New Jersey. Irene moved the process forward by several years, and Newark immediately became the college’s main campus. With Newark becoming its main campus the college changed its name from Somerset Christian College to Pillar College in order to identify with various geographic sites. Since 2011, the college has been located in the Military Park Building in Newark where they are the largest tenants. Pillar College re-established a campus in Franklin Township, a short distance from their previous location, and most recently opened a permanent site in Paterson. Additional urban areas are being explored in Irvington, Jersey City and Perth Amboy. Today, Pillar College is only one of two private colleges in New Jersey with a growing enrollment. Established in 1908, Pillar College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and is licensed by the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education to offer bachelor of arts degrees. Degrees offered include: business administration, biblical studies, psychology and counseling, intercultural communications and elementary education. The mission statement reads in part: Pillar College educates, inspires, and equips students for excellent scholarship, service, and leadership. 48 The Positive Community October 2016

Pillar College is a non-profit organization committed to serving an underserved population, especially in urban communities. Many of the college’s students have low incomes and are first generation college attendees. Pillar College is a commuter college; therefore, most of the students live and work in urban areas and continue to do so following graduation. It is hoped that these graduates will become an active part of urban transformation. An active member of Newark City of Learning Collaborative (NCLC) the college was recently honored by being presented the First Annual NCLC- Excellence and Leadership Award. The goal of the NCLC is to increase the percentage of Newark residents with postsecondary degrees, certificates, and quality credentials from the current 17 percent to 25 percent by 2025. Last year, 17 percent of all Pillar College students were Newark residents. With such a great diversity of needs within the student body, Pillar College offers several special programs in addition to the traditional degree offerings. For adult learners who are looking to complete a degree, the college offers the Life Enhancing Accelerated Degree (LEAD), an adult degree completion program that allows adults who have a minimum of 48 credits to obtain their bachelor’s degree by attending class once a week. A unique program offering is the Bi-Lingual ENtry Degree (BLEND) program. BLEND students complete the first two years toward their bachelor’s degree in Spanish. As they improve their English language skills, student complete the final two years in English. Pillar College offers yet another option. Those who possess a degree or are in search of continuing education credits may enroll in anyone of the certificate programs offered by the Pillar Academy of Continuing Education (PACE). Additionally, junior and senior high school students, may enroll in the Dual Enrollment EDucation (DEED) program for college credit in this way students can earn your NJ high school diplomas along with 30 college credits.

journey at Pillar “My College has been rewarding

academically and spiritually... I’ve gained invaluable knowledge, as I increased my relationshipbuilding skills; my outlook on the business world has opened doors of opportunity which are advancing my career.

— Lasheita, B.A. Business Administration and Management, Class of 2013

educate • inspire • equip

Become a Transformational Leader

Business Administration & Management • Biblical Studies • Psychology and Counseling • Intercultural Communications • Elementary Education

Pil l a r

C O L L E G E Truth in Education


Enroll Today! Call 800.234.9305 Locations in Newark, Somerset, and Paterson NJ Coming Soon: Jersey City and Plainfield NJ |

Phil Murphy spoke passionately before a crowd of more than 500, also taking time for individual questions from audience members on the issues important to them and their families. Photos: Karen Waters

Phil Murphy was endorsed and introduced by many prominent local political leaders, including former Mayor Sharpe James and Central Ward Councilwoman Gayle Cheneyfield Jenkins.

Prior to the event, Carolyn Kelley Shabazz, owner of Newark’s legendary First Class Boxing Gym--who helped helped raise champions like Olympian Shakur Stevenson and was a friend to Muhammad Ali--proclaimed Phil “the People’s Champion” and presented him with the belt to match.

Phil Murphy Community Meet-And-Greet


emocratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy hosted a community meet-andgreet at the historic Prince Hall Masonic Lodge in Newark’s Central Ward on September 13. More than 500 community residents packed the auditorium, with another 12,000 watching online or listening on the phone. Murphy, who previously served as Pres. Obama’s Ambassador to Germany and is the only New Jerseyan to serve on the national board of the NAACP, talked about his plans to make the state’s economy more fair by putting a special focus on cities like Newark, which can be economic engines for new jobs through investments in schools,

critical infrastructure, and small businesses. Murphy also committed to raising the minimum wage to $15/hr, enacting a statewide law for earned sick leave for all workers, increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit, and creating a childand-dependent care tax credit. He also spoke of the need for New Jersey to make “equal pay for equal work” state law. Murphy also took questions from the audience, speaking about his plans to reform the criminal justice system and end the cycle that sees too many young men of color put behind bars, and enacting commonsense gun safety measures to keep our communities safe.

Paid for by Murphy for Govenor, One Gateway Center, Suite 1025, Newark, NJ 07102 October 2016 The Positive Community


L-R: Pastor Steffie Bartley, National Action Network, NJ State Director; Aisha McShaw; Rev. Al Sharpton; Ashley Sharpton; and NJ State Chairman NAN Rev. David Jefferson, Sr.

L-R: Rev. David Jefferson, Sr., State Chairman, NJ Chapter of NAN; Essex County Freeholder Patricia Seabold; Rev. Al Sharpton; and former NJ Governor James McGreevey Photos: Karen Waters

National Action Network Celebrates Rev. Al Sharpton’s Birthday


he New Jersey chapter and dignitaries celebrated in honor of Rev. Al Sharpton’s 62nd birthday. The special occasion was hosted by Newark Municipal Council President Mildred C. Crump and Rev. Steffie Bartley. There are over ten NAN chapters across the state of New Jersey.

52 The Positive Community October 2016

L-R: TPC Adrian A. Council, board co-chair Newark School of Theology; Dr. Douglas Bendall, founder and president, Newark School of Theology; Newark Municipal Council President Mildred C. Crump; and Mayor Ras J. Baraka, Newark, NJ

50th Wedding Anniversary and Recommitment of Vows


r. Howard and Mrs. Reba Burrell of Glenwood, NJ were honored at their 50th wedding anniversary and recommitment of vows. The ceremony and reception, hosted by their children and grandchildren, took place at the Crystal Springs Resort, Hamburg, NJ. Mrs. Burrell is a retired school teacher; and Dr. Burrell, who currently serves as a Commissioner on the NJ District Water Supply Commission, is a member of the Board of Trustees for Centenary University, a member of the Council of Regents for Felician University, and a member of the Board of Trustees for the Newark School of Theology. Photos: Don Sherrill

NY/NJ Black McDonald’s Operators Association and 2016 Honorees

McDonald’s White Party Fundraiser


he 22nd Annual Black McDonald’s Operators Association (BMOA) held their scholarship fundraiser gala, the “White Party” at the Crystal Palace, Livingston, NJ. The event raises money for students attending college. Over the years, BMOA has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for education. --AAC

L-R: Host, Brenda Blackmon, McDonald’s Owner Operator Linda Dunham; and the legendary Cissy Houston

October 2016 The Positive Community


Sunday 10/30 • 11 am-1 pm • 300 Jay Street, Downtown Brooklyn NEW YORK CITY COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY


54 The Positive Community October 2016


Culture M U S I C ,




Shining Light On Newark’s Treasures:



n October 7, 2016, community leaders, residents and employees joined together in Newark’s historic Military Park to unveil Newark Walks, a 5K walking trail through downtown Newark that explores the city’s rich 350 years of history and culture. Designed for self-guided and engaging exploration of Newark’s history through public architecture, sculpture, and monuments, Newark Walks introduces you to a collection of 83 points of interest. You’ll encounter historic buildings, learn about prominent players in Newark’s and our nation’s history, and develop an appreciation for Newark’s historic past while engaging in a fitness activity guaranteed to burn a few calories. The 5K trail boasts historical points of interest such as Newark Arts High School, the first visual and performing arts high school in the country, whose graduates include Michael B. Jordan, Sarah Vaughan, Savion Glover and Melba Moore; The Hahne & Co. Building, Newark’s first department store and future home of the city’s first

Wars of America Monument located in Military Park is a point of interest on the Newark Walks Trail. The monument was sculpted by Gutzon Borglum who created Mount Rushmore. Borglum sculpted three other monuments in Newark.

The Newark Walks interpretative panel located in Military Park gives the history of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center

Entrepreneur Center; Krueger Mansion, the most elaborate mansion ever built in Newark; Military Park, once a campsite for General Washington’s army during the American Revolution, now a popular outdoor gathering place for residents and employees where you will find yoga, free Wi-Fi and children’s activities; and WBGO, one of the first schoolboard operated radio stations in the nation, now a jazz radio station that offers syndicated programming 24/7. Many of the points of interest are portrayed in colorful signage placed along the trail, and the entire trail is marked for navigation using bright green collars mounted on existing street poles. All 83 points of interest can be found in maps available from the Greater Newark Convention & Visitors Bureau, and mobile users can learn more and navigate the trail by downloading the Newark Walks app (found in the Apple Store or Google Play Store). In addition to highlighting the city’s gems, the trail presents a great fitness opportunity for people who live, work or attend school in Newark. The mobile app for this 5K route provides users with information October 2016 The Positive Community


John Strangfeld, Prudential Financial chairman and CEO, Gwen Moten, Executive director, The Mayor’s Office of Arts, Cultural Development and Tourism and Junius Williams, Chair of Newark Celebration 350 were speakers at the Newark Walks launch event, following the event they toured the Newark Walks trail

about the sites, as well as fitness-related facts such as distance walked and calories burned. Educators and parents will also enjoy the app’s scavenger hunt, trivia quiz featuring twelve questions drawn at random from 350 trivia questions created by local college students. “Newark Walks is the most recent demonstration of our commitment to make Newark a walkable city,” said Mayor Ras J. Baraka in a press release before the event. “This 5K pathway throughout downtown Newark shows off many of our historic landmarks, and when used in conjunction with the mobile app, shares fun facts about the city with people as they walk the trail. We are grateful to our partners at the Greater Newark Convention and Visitors’ Bureau and Prudential for helping to make this trail a reality.” At the event, Gwen Moten, executive director, The Mayor’s Office of Arts, Cultural Development and Tourism, observed “The Newark Walks 5K Trail will engage users experientially while they explore the city’s rich history.” Newark Walks is one of several initiatives launched in celebration of the city’s 350th anniversary. Newark Celebration 350 Committee Chair Junius Williams

Newark’s Malcolm X Shabazz High School Band performs at the Newark Walks launch event.

56 The Positive Community

October 2016

acknowledged Prudential Financial’s underwriting commitment to Newark Walks saying, “We have always spoken of and acknowledged the rich history of our city. Today we celebrate the creation of this engaging and informative trail system that for the first time provides us the opportunity to explore that history as it is reflected in landmark architecture and public art on the streets of our city.” Williams also noted that Prudential “shares 140 years of history with the city of Newark” and expressed his appreciation of their support of the entire calendar of 350 anniversary activities. One of the goals of the project was to increase “pride of place” among those who live and/or work in Newark, and increased regard for the city among visitors. “The Newark Walks trail is a creative way to introduce residents and visitors to Newark’s fascinating history, as well as some of the exciting new development under way,” said John Strangfeld, Prudential Financial chairman and CEO. “All of us at Prudential are very proud to support the trail and the celebration of the city’s 350th anniversary. We look forward to continuing our long-standing partnership with our neighbors in Newark, as we work together to ensure the city is a rewarding place to both live and work.” “The Greater Newark Convention and Visitors’ Bureau is grateful to The Prudential Foundation for providing the support that made Newark Walks a reality.” said Chip Hallock, Greater Newark Convention and Visitors’ Bureau Board officer. Reading a list of Newarkbased researchers, archivists, writers, photographers, designers, businesses and officials who all worked on the project, he observed “But I think that they (Prudential) will agree that the real story of Newark Walks is the story of collaboration.” Anyone interested in more information about Newark Walks should contact Byron Clark at the Greater Newark Convention & Visitors Bureau at


20% off all Museum Shop merchandise

HOLIDAY MARKET Wednesday – Saturday • NovEMBER 16 – 19 • Noon – 5 pm

Special support by the Newark Museum Volunteer Organization.

FREE Gift Wrap

meet the artists (Wednesday Only) Members Preview, Wednesday • 10 AM Unique gifts from around the world. 3.5% sales tax. FORMERLY HOLIDAY SHOPPING SPREE

49 Washington Street, Newark, NJ

On-site parking available for a fee.

Mayor Ras J. Baraka says...

“Believe in

Get Fit! Get Well! Get Involved!

What You Can Do: Visit your local Recreation Center and get involved! Bring your friends, your kids, your family and your neighbors. Enjoy swimming, tumbling, line dancing, fitness and exercising, wrestling, boxing and so much more. For more information, please call 973-733-6454

Eat at the SuNuP Nutrition Program

For children 18 years of age and under. For more information, please call 973-733-9309

Join our Senior Centers and Events

If you are 55 years and older. To become a member of our Senior Centers please call 973-733-5330 or 973-733-3797

Get involved with a Centers of Hope

Offering after-school programs, classes, workshops and services, healthy meals, tutoring, literacy, early childhood, athletics, arts & culture, academic leadership, job readiness, financial literacy and computer classes. For more information about the Centers of Hope, please call 973-733-5373

Visit our beautiful 35,000 acre Pequannock Watershed and enjoy fishing, hiking, boating and hunting. Come out and experience … • More Recreation! • More Fun! Department of Recreation, Cultural Affairs & Senior Services 973-733-5373

October 2016 The Positive Community



Bishop Paul S. Morton Leaves His “LEGACY”: LIVE IN NEW ORLEANS The Final Solo Album GRACE & PEACE,


know you don’t believe it and neither do I, but it’s true. The preaching-singer or singing-preacher if you will, the Grammy® Award-winning Bishop Paul S. Morton is giving us his last solo album, properly titled Legacy: Live in New Orleans. The creator and CEO of Tehilah Music Group has given us a final gift in song (recorded that is), for us to hold on to, because . . . well the man is busy! Fortunately the Bishop is finding balance so he can continue to live as long as God and His grace will allow. However, expect nothing but the best with the Bishop, he is going to make sure that everything you loved will be on the 15-track album. As a matter of fact, you can get the deluxe edition that will contain three bonus tracks available via all digital outlets and it’s coming out on Friday October 28, 2016. From what I’ve heard, this sold-out, live recording at Greater St. Stephen Full Gospel Baptist Church in New Orleans was amazing! Bishop Morton was there with friends, family, and his 100-voice Greater Change Mass Choir, to make sure the essence of his more than 30year legacy was evident to experience. The power of God was revealed in song with tears of joy, hearts of faith, and powerfully resounding voices of conviction. The CD starts off with an old favorite, “Let It Rain,” setting the atmosphere so that The King would be acknowledged and remind us that although, it’s Bishop’s recording, it’s definitely all for God’s glory. Continuing with that theme are other favorites like a medley of worship psalms with his classics “Hallelujah,” “Bow Down and Worship Him,” and “Show Us You” featuring Tasha Cobbs along with Bishop Morton’s friend and colleague in the Kingdom, Bishop William Murphy. Zacardi Cortez is also featured revering The Lord as he sang “Bow to The Name.” 58

The Positive Community

October 2016

Bishop Morton delivers a powerful declaration on the album’s energetic lead single “Watching Over Me,” produced by Trent Phillips and co-produced by AyRon Lewis. As always, Bishop is giving praises to God for getting through the personal trials he had to overcome. He boldly declares in his lyrics: “I am a witness/He never lets me down/Watching over me.” This song right here should be on your radio by now. He also teams up with other great leaders and pastors—I mean the best of the best to minister on the album—great gospel icons such as Pastor Shirley Caesar singing “Keeping Me Alive,” and Pastor Rance Allen on “God Has Been Good.” Quartet Diva (I mean that in a good way) Lisa Knowles-Smith is also featured singing how our God is “Faithful.” Now this album would not be complete without Bishop’s son and writer of the Stellar® Award-winning song “Let Go,” namesake P J Morton along with DeWayne Woods. Bishop Morton said of the project, “This ‘Legacy’ album, my final solo recording, is very dear to my heart. I thank God for every opportunity that He allows me to share my gift. I love to help people through a song. This is truly ministry for me.” The legend, husband, father, teacher, singer, and author Bishop Paul S. Morton, who wears many hats, will definitely continue to preach at the Changing A Generation Full Gospel Baptist Church in Atlanta as senior pastor. Oh, and he’ll also continue serving as co-pastor of the Greater St. Stephen Full Gospel Baptist Church in New Orleans. So while he’s traveling to either side, if you stop by the church you’re guaranteed to hear a song or two in either service. We thank you, Bishop, for your songs from the heart. This might be the last recorded album, but it won’t be the end of your music.

Move Over Cannes? Newark Hosts International Film Festival BY MADINAH N. JAMES


n September, Newark, NJ hosted the first annual Newark International Film Festival (NIFF). The inaugural event, held in the downtown district of the largest city in New Jersey and the second largest city in the New York metropolitan area, was quite the success, featuring 100 independent films and 90 filmmakers from 50 countries. The city has a long, distinguished film and entertainment history. In the late 1800s, Episcopal priest Hannibal Goodwin created celluloid film in Newark to help the children in his Sunday school classes learn the bible and get lessons by projecting images on the wall. The festival, sponsored by Newark-based Panasonic, took place from September 9–11, becoming an integral part of that historical landscape. “This 3-day international film festival has something for people of all ages and walks of life,” said Mayor Ras J. Baraka. “We are bringing the art and business of filmmaking to the masses.” NIFF Founder, Kenneth Gifford, director of the Office of Film and Television for the City of Newark, and his team created the groundbreaking festival with the goal of showcasing the creative work of local and international filmmakers. “An event of this caliber in Newark showcases the creative arts; brings economic stability, togetherness, awareness; and makes people feel comfortable about their surroundings. It brings another level of respect to the area as a whole,” said Gifford. In addition to the film screenings, many of the city's landmarks and cultural hot spots hosted a diverse lineup of events, workshops, panel discussions, and activities for independent filmmakers, aspiring visionaries, and film enthusiasts. Festival attendance was free for students with hopes of educating them about the film industry and exposing them to the industry's broad spectrum of career and entrepreneurial opportunities. “The goal is to get the youth more involved in the film industry, for them to understand how strong of an industry this is,” explained Gifford. “This platform provides a way to create employment opportunities for many in the city and give the youth something else to look forward to professionally besides just playing sports. There are other ways out there to make a great living and tell your story.” The weekend was full of robust activities starting with an opening night VIP Filmmakers reception and a special

NIFFWomen In the Room: How Hip-Hop Became Mainstream panel: L–R: Angelique Miles, founder/president, Miles Method; Wendy R. Credle, Esq., Industry Lawyer & Co-Star of Money. Power. Respect on WeTV; Producer Adrianne C. Smith, Tonya Pendleton, CEO Amazon Ink; Kenneth Gifford, NIFF Founder; Thembisa S. Mshaka, five-time Telly® Award–winner; Faith Newman, Sophia Chang, and Kim Osorio

screening of the film, 1982, a semi-autobiographical debut from filmmaker Tommy Oliver, starring Hill Harper, Wayne Brady, and Sharon Leal. Other weekend activities included the Filmed in Newark Scavenger Hunt, which took adventurous film fans on a fast-paced tour of 10 landmarks that served as backdrops for various Hollywood hits. Some participants shared about $3,500 in cash and prizes. Many aspiring entertainment professionals picked up valuable tips and advice while attending sessions such as the Cinematography Master Workshop with Director Alex Fernbach, and the Women in the Room: How Hip Hop Became Mainstream panel, featuring a roster of music industry pros. The festival showcased hometown filmmakers and success stories. Newark native, Samad Davis, producer of the hit international TV show, Top Actor, facilitated an interactive master class for aspiring actors. “I shot my first film in my hometown of Newark in 1997,” noted Davis. “I'm so proud of my city; I'm humbled to be a part of its continued evolution and honored to still be in the industry to witness the amazing launch of the NIFF!” Actor/director, Malik Barnhardt, also a Newark native, debuted his short film, C'est la Vie. The film was featured at the Cannes Film Festival in France earlier in the year. LeRon Lee, creator/director of the short film continued on next page October 2016 The Positive Community


UGLY, whose lead actor, Devon Moyd of Jersey City, NJ, took home the Best Actor in a Short Film award at the NIFF, talked about his journey as an upcoming director/filmmaker. “I made this film for the city. I opened it up to the city first. When I heard that there was going to be a film festival here, I could only wish to be a part of it,” said Lee. “The timing couldn't have been better. This festival is another staple showing that Newark is consistently on the rise, provaiding a platform for an art form that has been previously under served in the community. I'm thankful I took part in the inaugural festival.” The weekend also drew a slew of celebrity guest attendees, including John Gibson, from The Motion Picture Association of America and FOX-TV hit series Empire cast members, New Jersey native Tasha Smith and NIFF celebrity ambassador, Tobias Truvillion. Industry veterans, The Tate Brothers, have turned successful careers as actors, producers, writers, and directors in Hollywood for 30 years into a lucrative family business. The brothers—Larenz, Lahmard, and Larron— who launched their own production company early on in their careers, conducted a panel discussion at NJIT around changing the lens of diversity in film and television. With individuals taking on more creative roles behind the camera, there is a need for minorities to come together, pool resources to create their own projects, and understand the concept of development and distribution. The brothers explained that understanding how projects are green-lighted is crucial, diversifying your portfolio to

Actor/Producer/Director Larenz Tate

Kenneth Gifford NIFF Founder

Photos: Risasi Dais

Luke Wikoff and Kara Vedder

include digital and audio content is important, and leveraging international platforms to showcase creative content and projects is key to progressive movement and success. “The diversity is behind the camera; who are the writers, producers, directors, cinematographers? Who are the studio executives . . . there needs to be more diversity in the rooms of the decision makers,” according to Larenz Tate. The festival culminated with the NIFF Awards Show at the Newark Museum Theatre. There were award presentations from Newark native/renowned choreographer, Savion Glover, screenwriter/playwright Richard Wesley (Uptown Saturday Night), and others. NIFF founder Kenneth Gifford is optimistic about the immediate and future impact the festival will have on the city. “Newark is an international city and it always has been. We have one of the largest airports and seaports. Individuals from all over the world come here on a daily basis and with Newark being the birthplace of film, this festival will have a positive impact globally, for the city, and surrounding areas.” He continued, “It will bring jobs and economic stability to certain parts of the city that are lacking. More tourists and visitors will flock to the city to see what it has to offer, which will bring the type of positive attention the city hasn't had in a while.” For a full list of the 2016 Newark International Film Festival's winners and a full recap of festival activities and events, log onto and watch for future film festival activities and events .

Terri Seeney, Manager Corporate Outreach, Panasonic with Lamman Rucker, actor/activist/entrepreneur and star of Greenleaf October 2016 The Positive Community


Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images

PUBLICTHEATER.ORG | 212.967.7555











October 2016 The Positive Community


It’s Happening at

Columbia in October

MONDAY, OCTOBER 3 A Conversation With Shaun King 7:00 P.M. TO 10:00 P.M. Lerner Hall, Roone Arledge Auditorium, Morningside campus Shaun King is a senior justice writer for New York Daily News and a prominent figure in the Black Lives Matter movement. For more info, call (212) 854-0720 or email


TUESDAY, OCTOBER 11 The Big Draw NOON TO 4:00 P.M. Low Library Plaza, Morningside campus Sculpture students and faculty will fabricate an installation and guide exercises with paper, charcoal and ink. No experience or expertise required, and all drawing will be equally appreciated and displayed. Everyone is welcome. For more info, call (212) 851-9567 or email



Screening: The Messengers (Les Messagers) 6:30 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. Buell Hall, East Gallery, Morningside campus Migrants relate how they narrowly escaped death, unlike more unfortunate travelling companions who were swallowed by the waters of the Mediterranean. Followed by discussion with director Laetitia Tura. For more info, email

NOON TO 1:00 P.M. Faculty House, Garden Room 2, 64 Morningside Dr. Composer Bruce Barth, whose work is deeply rooted in the jazz tradition, has been sharing his music with listeners the world over for more than two decades. Call (212) 854-1257 for more info.

Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon

Livestream: Habla y vota



5:00 P.M. Barnard Hall, Sulzberger Parlor, Barnard campus

Exposing Injustices Around the World

Block Party

Habla y vota is a one-hour documentary in English and Spanish encouraging Latinos to vote by representing personal narratives from leading Hispanic celebrities and inspiring personalities, including Columbia Professor Frances NegrónMuntaner. Discussion with NegrónMuntaner to follow. For more info, call (212) 854-0507 or visit cser.columbia .edu/events.

6:00 P.M. TO 7:00 P.M. Pulitzer Hall, Lecture Hall, Morningside campus Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists reporting from Southeast Asia, Afghanistan and the Mediterranean discuss using journalism to document injustice around the world. For more info, email

4:00 P.M. TO 6:00 P.M. Jerome Greene Hall, 435 W. 116 St., Morningside campus The Center for Gender and Sexuality Law invites students, faculty, staff and administrators to stop by for eats and to discuss current and upcoming projects. Free and open to the public. For more info, email or call (212) 854-1951.



Stargazing and Lecture

Queer Disruptions

8:00 P.M. 501 Pupin, Morningside campus

8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. Pulitzer Hall, 3rd Flr. Lecture Hall, Morningside campus


4:30 P.M. The Italian Academy, 1161 Amsterdam Ave. Panels of artists who have challenged traditional representations of gender and sexuality explore divergent perspectives on marriage, disabilities, vulnerability and resilience. Registration required at For more info, call (212) 854-1833 or email

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Open House


10:00 A.M. TO 4:00 P.M. Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, 61 Route 9W, Palisades, NY 10964

Comics Unstuck: An Evening With Howard Cruse

Climate Resilience in New York

Lecturer: Astronomy Graduate Research Fellow Maria Charisi will give a talk on “Hearing the Universe for the First Time.” Stargazing with telescopes to follow at 8:45 weather-permitting. For more info, visit

Whether you’re an aspiring young scientist or a long-time enthusiast, you’ll enjoy this chance to tour a lab, participate in hands-on experiments and learn about earthquakes, climate science and geology from world-renowned researchers. Free. Register and get more info at

6:00 P.M. TO 8:30 P.M. 523 Butler Library, Morningside campus Cartoonist and activist Howard Cruse, whose career spans more than five decades, discusses his work. Registration required. For more info and to register, visit, call (212) 853-0429 or email ·

For disability services, call (212) 854-2284 prior to the event.

Jazz Pianist Bruce Barth

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 19 White Faces, Black Lives: Race and the Drug War

An evening reception to launch the conference will take place Tuesday, Oct. 18 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Center for Arts & Culture, Skylight Gallery, 1368 Fulton St., Brooklyn, NY. Both events are free, but registration is required. To register, visit

6:00 P.M. TO 7:15 P.M. Low Library Rotunda, Morningside campus This panel discussion will focus on how cities can take steps to become stronger and more resilient in the face of climate change. Reception to follow. For more info, email


6:00 P.M. TO 8:30 P.M. 203 Butler Library, Morningside campus Author Larry Tye discusses his new book. For more info, call (212) 852-2232 or email

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22 Vijay Iyer Trio 8:00 P.M. TO 10:00 P.M. Miller Theatre, 2960 Broadway For over a decade, this group has taken inspiration from everything from electronica to Indian classical to the jazz legend Thelonious Monk, mashing up genres and styles to create surprising and invigorating music. For more info, call (212) 854-7799, visit, or email

Shuttle Bus Service for the Elderly and Disabled Columbia provides free ADAaccessible shuttle bus service for senior citizens and the disabled (including their attendants) via the Intercampus Shuttle. The service can be accessed near the following subway stations: 96th and Broadway, 116th and Broadway (Morningside campus), 125th and Broadway, 135th and Lenox (Harlem Hospital), and 168th and Broadway (Columbia University Medical Center). The shuttle runs on a regular schedule Monday through Friday except state and federal holidays. Riders must show an AccessA-Ride or Medicare card to board the bus. For more info, visit

Columbia University in the city of new york

Ever think about how catching a ball is like keeping your eyes on God? Consider Psalm 123 To you I lift up my eyes, To you enthroned in the heavens. As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, and the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, So our eyes look to the Lord our God, Until he show us his mercy. Those who love God ever seek to keep their eyes on the prize, which is love, peace, healing, and joy flowing from the Living God Since 1997 The Newark School of Theology has offered master level classes in Theology to all who are seeking a greater knowledge and understanding of God. We offer Ecumenical Certificate Programs in Theological Studies Biblical Studies Diaconal Studies Pastoral Counseling Consider becoming one of the hundreds of students who have studied at NST and had their lives transformed. The Newark School of Theology Two Park Place, Newark, NJ 07102 Tel: 973-297-0505 Mail: P.O.B. 831, Newark 07101 The Rev. R. Douglas Bendall, Ph.D. Tel: 973-297-0505

October 2016 The Positive Community


Yolanda Adams

Lawrence Brownlee

Shirley Caesar

Olen Cesari

Donnie McClurkin

Cantor Azi Schwartz

Richard Smallwood

Dionne Warwick

Donnie Kim McClurkin Burrell

Ray Chew

A Night of Inspiration Tuesday, December 6 at 8 PM Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage

Ray Chew, Music Director Yolanda Adams | Lawrence Brownlee | Shirley Caesar Olen Cesari | Donnie McClurkin | Cantor Azi Schwartz Richard Smallwood | Dionne Warwick New Faith Church from Cape Town, South Africa Additional artists to be announced This evening of spiritually uplifting music is led by acclaimed composer, music director, and producer Ray Chew. Tickets start at $36. Presented by Carnegie Hall in partnership with Chew Entertainment. | 212-247-7800 Box Office at 57th and Seventh Artists, programs, and dates subject to change. Š 2016 CHC. Photos: Brownlee by Derek Blanks, Cesari by Federico De Angelis.

Proud Season Sponsor

64 The Positive Community October 2016 161017_Positive Community_A Night of Inspiration_AW2.indd 1

10/17/16 12:00 PM

Prayer Walk for Peace


n September 7, 2016, Harlem Pastor Rev. Al Taylor completed a 780 mile journey from NYC to Chicago — The It’s A Love Thing Prayer Walk for Peace. Here are a few photos showing Rev. Taylor on the streets of the “Windy City.”

Rev. Al Taylor with Chicago police officer holding a Prayer Walk t-shirt

Rev. Dr. Cornell Edmonds in prayer with residents of Southside Chicago

North Carolina resident Eva Penny meets up with Rev. Taylor to show support

October 2016 The Positive Community


Photos: Karen Waters

Pastor M. Frances Manning-Fontaine Retirement Celebration


nd we say to the Lord, “Great is Thy Faithfulness” for sending us yet another pioneer, the Reverend Dr. M. Frances Manning-Fontaine. “‘May the Work I’ve Done Speak for Me’ is what we believe the Reverend Doctor M. Frances Manning-Fontaine has earned the right to say as she commences a new journey,” wrote Andrea Oates-Parchment in the

Rev. Dr. M. Frances Manning-Fontaine, senior pastor

Rev. Calvin McKinney, general secretary, National Baptist Convention Inc., senior pastor, Calvary B.C., Garfield NJ extends greetings

Laying hands in prayer over Pastor Manning-Fontaine

Rev. Dr. M. Frances Manning-Fontaine, senior pastor; Nia Gordon; and New Hope B.C. members

66 The Positive Community October 2016

souveneir program. She became pastor on May 7, 1993, making her the longest-standing pastor of the New Hope Baptist Church of Hackensack, New Jersey. A trailblazer from the start as the first woman to pastor a major Baptist church in Hackensack and vicinity, she ends her tenure as a trailblazer. During her time as pastor she has led the way for numerous groundbreaking ministries first conceived and executed by New Hope Baptist Church. She now moves forward to what God has in store for her and her family. —JNW


t’s 2:10pm on a Tuesday. Ziona walks into the office, greets her co-workers, and opens her laptop. Currently, her big project is a student-focused social media campaign. As we discuss her progress, it occurs to me that I have assigned a high school student to help with one of my biggest projects. But instead of feeling anxiety, I feel relief, knowing that my People’s Prep intern is an exceptional teammate, eager to learn, and hard working. People’s Prep opened in August 2011 with the mission to have all of our students graduate from the college of their choice as informed, involved, and resilient citizens. In addition to this mission, People’s Prep also places an emphasis on career-readiness, including real world learning experiences. Our students come to People’s Prep from over 30 different middles schools across Newark. Almost half of our students are from the South and West wards, and 77% are from Newark Public Schools. We are a college preparatory high school for all students, so any student that simply applies and is matched to People’s Prep has the opportunity to participate in our program. Currently, 90% of our students graduate on time, and 83% are accepted to college

each year, on average. In 2013 People’s Prep launched our Community Work Program, placing 30 interns in 20 organizations throughout Newark. “The goal for the program,” says Amy Pozmantier Eberly, People’s Prep’s Community Program Coordinator, “is to give high school students real world learning experiences and to help them build their networks in order to better prepare them for success in the college of their choice and future careers.” To bolster their work-based and interpersonal skills, all People’s Prep interns are required to enroll in a credit bearing course taught by Pozmantier Eberly. Throughout the year students practice writing professional emails, participating in staff meetings, and managing the competing priorities of school work, home life, and the workplace. People’s Prep interns are matched to year-long placements throughout Newark ranging from software companies to city government to volunteer organizations. “Our Community Work partnerships are a win-win for People’s Prep and for our partners,” says Jess Rooney, People’s Prep’s founder and school leader. “High school-aged students have so much to learn about the pro-

68 The Positive Community October 2016

fessional workplace. People’s Prep students in particular are eager and have a lot to give. Because our core values of grit, empathy, achievement, curiosity, humility, and enthusiasm are always front of mind on campus, our interns keep them front of mind at their internship sites. Our partners can count on our student’s strong character and desire to learn. While Newark continues to get stronger every year, it’s already a city of rich resources that our students can benefit from.” This year, almost a fifth of eligible People’s Prep students are Community Work interns contributing to 18 organizations in Newark including United Way, Wynona’s House, Newark Public Radio, Gadget Software, Shoprite, Medina=Citi, and Newark Downtown District. Our students are building apps, community organizing, and helping younger students with their homework. 63% of our interns work at schools and community programs, directly impacting the Newark community. Through the Community Work Program People’s Prep gets ever-closer to achieving its mission of graduating informed and involved citizens and, hopefully, Newark becomes and even more interconnected city.

A Family Reunion Weekend


Abundant Life Family Worship Church 25th Anniversary Photos: Karen Waters and Marcus Edghill (ALFWC)

Prayer, reflection, and praise


weekend of fun, faith, and family in celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the founding of Abundant Life Family Worship Church in New Brunswick, NJ, kicked off on Friday, August 5, 2016. Husband and wife, Bishop George and Pastor Mary Searight began the family reunion weekend with prayer, reflection, and praise. The Judah Dance Ministry, directed by Melanie Winstead, touched hearts and souls with its performance accompanied by the song “Let His Glory Fill This Place.” Bishop Marvin Winans followed with a powerful sermon, “Then I Remembered,” from Acts 11:15-16. On Saturday, braving the summer heat, fifteen hundred or more church members, friends, and special guests attended the Family Reunion Church Picnic at Forest Lodge in Warren, NJ. Bishop John E. Guns of St. Paul’s Church in Jacksonville, FL delivered a soul-stirring sermon titled “Built to Last” at the 11:00 am service on Sunday. At 5:00 pm, a concert featuring the Royal Priesthood Reunion Choir, Chosen Generation Reunion Choir, and gospel artists Nancy Jackson Johnson, Natalie Wilson, Sherry McGhee and Troy Bright ministering in song, ended the celebration on a high note.

L-R: Pastor Marvin Winans, Pastor Mary Searight, and Bishop George Searight

(Center) Judah Dance Ministry Leader Shanai Henderson

Picnic at the Forest Lodge, Warren, NJ October 2016 The Positive Community


L-R: Jamboree organizers Carlisa Brown Simons, HCCI VP, Corporate Relations; R&B Singer Howard Hewett; and Moikgantsi Kgama, director, HCCI Communications

L-R: HCCI Vice President Equitable Development, Rev. Dr. Charles Butler; Malcolm A. Punter, president HCCI; and Curtis Archer, president Harlem Community Development Corporation

L-R: Malcolm A. Punter; Dr. Charles A. Curtis, Ed.D.; Joan O. Dawson, Ph.D.; Virginia Montague, Rev. Shepherd Lee; and Anne-Marie Hendrickson

Howard Hewett serenades the crowd

L-R: HCDC staff Rose Jeffrey, R. Andrea Anderson, Victoria Gordon, Jeanette Cole-Williams, Marcus Browne, Elaine Caesar, Curtis Archer, Ernestine Bell Temple, Barbara Payos, and Tom Lunke

L-R: Comedian Mike Troy with Aarian and Malcolm A. Punter

Jamboree Benefit Dinner Cruise HCCI Rocks The Boat for Community Service


arlem Congregations for Community Improvement hosted nearly 300 guests aboard the Hornblower Infinity as it cruised the Hudson River on Thursday, August 18. “ Jamboree! A Soulful Extravaganza on the Hudson” is HCCI’s biennial fundraiser. “This was my first year participating and I had an amazing time,” said Luc Josaphat, managing director at Harlem United, the state-of-the-art medical center. “The energy on the yacht was really warm and friendly. It was a great introduction to HCCI. I look forward to learning more, and attending the next Jamboree!” “The Jamboree affords our residents the opportunity to contribute to HCCI, while having a really, really good time,” said HCCI Chairman Rev. Charles A. Curtis, Ed. D. “This event helps to encourage a sense of commitment and connection to HCCI, among community residents. It’s a wonderful celebration!” To celebrate local businesses, the Jamboree program listed all 60 members of the Bradhurst Merchants Association (BMA) in its program. “HCCI founded and incubated the BMA,” explained LaChena Clark, 70 The Positive Community October 2016

BMA president. “Now that we are a fully independent nonprofit organization, HCCI has remained our biggest supporter.” According to Malcolm A. Punter, HCCI president and CEO, one of the main reasons for the event is to experience fellowship with community residents and partners. “This year,” he noted, “Curtis Archer, president of Harlem Community Development Corporation, (HCDC) presented us with a check for $52,000 to demonstrate their commitment to our work.” The funds raised will benefit the HCCI Computer Clubhouse and HCCI’s Small Business Initiative. HCCI is a diverse consortium of interfaith congregations established to revitalize the physical, economic, cultural, and spiritual conditions of the Harlem community. HCCI has made a substantial impact on the social and living conditions prevalent in Harlem by developing low to moderate income housing; creating supportive health and human service facilities and programs; providing commercial development opportunities to local businesses; and expanding cultural programs.

Photos: Bruce Moore

Queens and Bronx Regional Clergy members United Association

L-R: Charles James, TPC, Brooklyn/ Queens with Rev. Darryl Frazier, Majority B.C., Queens, NY; and Market Manager

MPAC’s Call-to-Action


astors and ministers came together for a callto-action clergy breakfast at New Jerusalem Worship Center Jamaica, Queens, NY. Lead by Rev.Dr. Johnny Green, Mobilizing Preachers and Communities (MPAC) is a non-profit coalition consisting of more than 250 interdenominational churches formed to address issues that impact our communities. This partnership also includes social, civic, political, and corporate organizations and philanthropists, as well as concerned individuals and targets, but is not limited to the issues of stop and frisk,

L-R: Bishop Mitchell G. Taylor, Center of Hope International; Rev. Dr. Johnny Green, Mount Neboh B.C., Harlem, NY; and Rev. Dr. Calvin Rice, New Jerusalem Worship Center, Jamaica, NY

low-income housing, gentrification, domestic violence, education, and economic development. The global emphasis of MPAC is foundational in relationships that span across the United States and around the world. The organization intends to use the moral authority earned by the great pastors that came before, and the strength and solidarity of its expansive congregations within the tri-state area to create a new paradigm of social, political, and economic action to impact on improving the lives of our congregants and the citizens of the greater New York City and vicinity.







wed OCT


fri OCT



tuewed NOV

mon OCT







w/ Special Guest



thu NOV


thu NOV




fri NOV



fri DEC



sat NOV






PRIVATE EVENTS & GROUPS OF 10+ CONTACT: EVENTS@BBKINGBLUES.COM | 237 WEST 42 STREET | (212)997-4144 | TICKETMASTER.COM (800)745-3000 October 2016 The Positive Community


African American Parade


his year, African American Day Parade, Inc. celebrated 47 years in Harlem, New York. The African American Day Parade (AADP) is held every third Sunday in September and it is the most renowned African American parade in the country, with the largest cross-section of participants, including community and political leaders, community-based and religious organizations, civil servants, celebrities, fraternities and sororities, marching bands, dance ensembles and many more, with a viewing of over 900,000 people along the parade route.

72 The Positive Community October 2016

A CRITICAL CONVERSATION continued from page 38

realization of “Black Power” at the post-rebellion National Black Power Conference. And the Black Sanitation Workers, who in 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee, collectively proclaimed, “I Am A Man.” And to today’s new generation of social justice advocates who, at the beginning of what many regard as the Third Reconstruction, are declaring that “Black Lives Matter!” Just as it was when Sojourner Truth asked the question more than a century and a half ago, the reality is we have to reimagine what policing can look like. This work requires us to advance a transformative vision: where police officers serve as trusted community partners, and not just as armed patrolmen; where law enforcement respects and honors the humanity of the people they serve; where police officers join with communities of color to be both peacemakers and peacekeepers. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. penned his last book, Where Do We Go From Here, the same year as the 1967 Newark rebellion. In it, King posits that given the challenges we face, we have only two options: to embrace chaos or community. And that’s what this moment requires of us: that we each embrace Dr. King’s vision of racial and social justice, and that we commit to bending our neighborhoods toward the beloved community.

At the Institute, we are engaging in these conversations on a daily basis, and are developing and employing strategies, like our initiative New Jersey Communities Forward, to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the communities they serve. But we cannot do this work without engaging with the community in conversations that may be difficult to have, but are necessary if we are to effect real change. In this moment, we have an important opportunity to fundamentally transform the relationship between law enforcement and the community here in New Jersey in a way that serves as a national model for police reform. We invite you to join us.

Ryan P. Haygood is CEO and president of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, a Newark-based urban research and advocacy organization dedicated to the advancement of New Jersey’s urban areas and residents. A Newark resident, he formerly served as deputy director of litigation at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

October 2016 The Positive Community


First Graduating Class of Granville Academy Honored

L-R: Mayor Kevin McMillian, Neptune, NJ; Magnolia Brown; Victoria and Philip Woolfolk; Rev. Alexander Brown, president, Granville Academy

Photos: Karen Waters

L-R: Mayor, Kevin McMillian, Khali Brewer, Arianna Scarano, Aaron Beverett, Keon Simms, Rev. Alexander Brown, and George Rucker, parent advisor

Granville Academy Graduates: Front row: L-R: Denee Hunter, Destiny Rucker, Tianna Mewborn, William Mewborn, Kianna Dean, Neko Scarano, Mason Gray; Back row: L-R: Skylar Rucker, Joseph Bright and Jayda Henry



74 The Positive Community October 2016

Bradford Washington DMD, MS Licensed Orthodontist Harvard School of Dental Medicine



Par k

Central Park North (110th St.) [2,3]


hS t.

Av e.


Central Park

Marcus Garvey Memorial Park


Ce nt

l Pa

rk W .

Cathedral Pkwy (110th St.) [B,C]


Pa rk


ox Av e.




W 113 t W 112 h St. th St. M

Morningside Park


Av e.

Morehouse College

Ce ntr a

n Saturday, June 4, 2016, Seacoast Granville Academy held its second annual Scholarship Luncheon honoring its first graduating class at the Sheraton Hotel, Eatontown, NJ. Family, supporters, parishioners, and friends came out in full force to support the young scholars. Granville Academy’s president, Rev. Alexander Brown, introduced Judge Rodney Thompson, guest speaker for the luncheon. Judge Thompson is the Chief Municipal Court judge in Trenton, NJ, serving part-time the Westampton Municipal Court, with jurisdiction over Westampton, Eastampton and Hainesport, Burlington County, New Jersey Granville Academy, Inc. offers tuition free, after school coaching and counseling programs for students grades 7-12. A committed core of volunteer businessmen and women and educators serve as instructors and role models. All purposefully motivate their students to seek higher education. A special thanks to the Seacoast Missionary Baptist Association for its commitment to this program.


1851 Seventh Ave. • New York, NY 10026



Let’s Vote! “. . . render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”—Matthew 22:21 (NASB)


esus Christ said the above quote to the Pharisees and Herodians who tried to trap Him by asking whether it was right to pay taxes to Caesar. Jesus responded by asking them to show Him the coin used for paying taxes. When they showed Him a denarius, Jesus asked whose portrait was on it. When they identified portrait as Caesar’s, that was Jesus’ response. Today in America, opinion polls indicate that many eligible voters may not vote in the upcoming presidential election. Roman law required inhabitants of the Roman Empire to pay taxes. U.S. law does not require citizens to vote, but it does give citizens the right to vote. I think Christian citizens should vote thoughtfully and intentionally, in order to give Christian values more of a chance to influence government behavior. During the 1950s–1960s, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC, led by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King) and other Christian activists were involved in the struggle to gain voting and human rights for blacks. Now that voting rights have been achieved, we should exercise those rights consistently from a Christian perspective. To me, the 2016 presidential election is somewhat “whack.” The decision seems to be as much about whom to vote against as for whom to vote. Donald Trump espouses several positions that I see as antithetical to God’s biblically recorded instructions to the People of God. On the other side, Hillary Clinton seems to have been dangerously irresponsible in the management of her internet server while she served as Secretary of State. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ preached, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the law until all is accomplished.”—Matthew 5:17-18 (NASB) So Christ instructs Christians to obey God’s laws. One of God’s laws reads: “Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt.”—Exodus 22:21(NIV) In my opinion, Trump’s plans to build a wall between the

United States and Mexico; deport Mexicans, Muslims, and others; and restrict Muslim immigration would constitute oppression of targeted alien groups. Such a call is especially ironic coming from any U.S presidential candidate, since the vast majority of U.S. citizens descend from immigrants if one traces ancestry far enough back. Space and time do not permit me to expound on all of the relevant scriptures. Accordingly, I encourage you to study and consider the relevance of other scriptures to the 2016 presidential election, including: “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” −Matthew 6:24 (NASB) and “For the poor will never cease from the land; therefore, I command you, saying, ‘You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land.’—Deuteronomy 15:11 (New King James Version) I plan to vote for Hillary Clinton, largely because of her work toward national healthcare legislation during her husband, Bill Clinton’s administration. That decades-long movement, which began before the Clinton presidency, culminated in the national healthcare legislation known as “Obamacare.” It is easy (and often accurate) to criticize presidential candidates, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23). “All” includes voters as well as candidates (even columnists). It is much harder to get positive work done than to criticize others for not doing it. I recommend that American Christians vote in all elections. Jesus Christ, in John 8:12 said, “I am the light of the world.” In Matthew 5:14, part of the Sermon on the Mount, Christ taught His followers, “You are the light of the world.” So, apparently, Christ’s light shines into the world at least partially through us, His followers. So let’s vote with that in mind.

October 2016 The Positive Community



Upcoming Special Issue! November Annual Health Issue To Advertise Call: 973-233-9200 Or Email:

for rates & deadlines

Tuesday, November 8, 2016. Check your voter registration status is as easy as 1,2,3: 1. Go to on your smartphone, laptop or tablet 2. Enter your information as requested 3. Receive updated registration info immediately. Remember, your vote is your voice! VOTE NOVEMBER 8!!!


On page 24 in the September 2016 issue, the names of the founders of Chow for Now, the amazing new healthy fast frozen food company were spelled incorrectly. Ana Iza Otis and MaeOla Bolton are the founders of Chow for Now.


Off Your First Project

Express Yourself

tpc graphics offers creative, cost-effective

graphic design and printing solutions. Our services are perfect for individuals, corporations, organizations, churches, and others looking to create quality printed media. Give a call today and start making a better impression! TPC_Launch_Ad_Dft1.indd 1

(like never before)


Postcards • Flyers • Posters Brochures • Spot Ads • Logos Annual Reports • Journals Promotional & Souvenir Items • More!

Call: (973) 233-9200 9/14/16 7:33 PM

October 2016 The Positive Community



The Last Word BY R.L. WITTER

Vol. 16, No. 8

CIVIL IS RIGHT Publisher Adrian A. Council, Sr.


Editor-in-Chief Jean Nash Wells Associate Editor R. L. Witter

Sales Angela Ridenour Adrian Council, Jr. NGS Communications, Inc. Satori MPR Marc Williams

Contributing Writers Mwandikaji K. Mwanafunzi g.r. mattox Patricia Baldwin Rev. Theresa Nance Glenda Cadogan Helene Fox Rev. Dr. Joanne Noel Photographers Bob Gore Wali A. Muhammad Seitu Oronde Rev. Dr. William L. Watkins, Jr. Darryl Hall Vincent Bryant Hubert Williams Brian Branch Price Karen Waters Art Direction & Layout Penguin Design Group Peter Gillo The Positive Community Corp. 133 Glenridge Avenue Montclair, NJ 07042 973-233-9200 Fax: 973-233-9201 Email: Website: All contents © The Positve Community Corporation. All Rights Reserved. This publication, in whole or in part, may not be reproduced, stored in a computerized or other retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means whatsoever without the prior written permission of The Positive Community Corporation. Any opinions expressed herein are solely the opinions of the writer(s) and not necessarily those of The Positive CommunityTM, its management or staff. The Positive CommunityTM reserves the right to retain all materials and does not assume reponsibility for unsolicited materials.

78 The Positive Community

October 2016

’ve been called an “old soul” more than once, and sometimes just plain “old fashioned.” I thought it was because I frequently use words like “persnickety,” “malarkey,” and “humbug,” but recently I was told my mannerisms and manners date me more than my vocabulary. I took it as a compliment, because that’s what a lady does, and thanks to my elegant, well-read, and comely mother, I know the difference between ladies and women. My mom loves to regale us with stories from her youth and ours. One of my favorites is that she issued the threat of a spanking to my oldest brother when he was no more than three-years-old. As Miss America tells it, in the midst of some bad behavior on his part, she looked at him squarely and shaking her finger asked, “Would you like a spanking?” (spankings were allowed back then.) My brother stopped and with a polite “No, thank you,” declined the punishment. The night of the third presidential debate, political commentator Van Jones remarked that the current election lacks civility. I agree, but I’d also posit that it’s more than just the election that’s in need of civility; it’s likely the majority of our society. It seems that decorum has been pushed aside for coarseness and vulgarity. I’m not referring to etiquette or table manners; I mean basic courtesy and niceness. I notice that profanity has made it into mainstream media, and I cringe when I hear teens and tweens use profanity in my presence or worse, in front of their parents. I lament the fact that audiences cheer and applaud whenever a celebrity or talk show guest lets fly filth and flarn, even if it is reduced to a series of high-pitched censor tones. Might it be that part of why people seem to be so impatient and inconsiderate these days is because

of how we speak to one another? My grandmother used to say that if you fill things with love, goodness, and kindness there’s no room left for hatred, negativity, and meanness. She was a wise and sweet woman who raised Miss America, so I’ve always trusted her on this and so many other things. My favorite nephew celebrated his tenth birthday earlier this month. Sadly, my husband and I couldn’t be there in person, but we were there in spirit and made sure his present arrived on his special day. I was able to speak with him and after responding to my questions about reaching double-digits and how tall he is getting, he was quick to say, “Thank you for my Lego, Auntie! It’s a perfect gift!” I explained that his uncle had actually selected the gift and he was working late so he couldn’t come to the phone, and my nephew replied, “Oh, I’m sorry I missed him. PLEASE tell him I love him and I love the Lego set. And I miss him, too.” While I was delighted by his manners and genuine gratitude, I was hardly surprised. Recently his mother had shared that his teacher remarked that he was “the most polite, generous, and compassionate child” she had ever taught. I pray the lessons his parents, Miss America, and his village are modeling and teaching will take root in his heart. As Paul said in Colossians 3:1214 (NIV), “. . . clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” From Paul’s lips to our ears, hearts, and souls.



Visit Us. Learn More. Apply. NEWARK.RUTGERS.EDU

Where Opportunity Meets Excellence

Sometimes your biggest meeting of the day isn’t around a conference table.

Working together, we can help you manage your money so it works hard for you and the people who matter most in your life. From credit management to college savings and even retirement planning, we can help create a financial plan for you and your family’s future. To learn more, come in or visit

All credit decisions are subject to credit approval. Š 2016 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. (3338502_19368)

October 2016 - Annual Newark Issue  

Cornell Brooks, NAACP, NJ Institute for Social Justice, Ras Baraka Op-Ed, Newark Walking Trail, Junius Willams, Breast Cancer Survivor, Race...

October 2016 - Annual Newark Issue  

Cornell Brooks, NAACP, NJ Institute for Social Justice, Ras Baraka Op-Ed, Newark Walking Trail, Junius Willams, Breast Cancer Survivor, Race...